Developers have been given the green light to change one of Bearsden’s most iconic buildings into a boutique hotel and build houses behind it.
WPH Developments Ltd was granted planning permission this week to re-develop the former council building - Boclair House on Milngavie Road - into a hotel and build nine detached houses on land behind it.
As part of the agreement they will contribute cash towards affordable housing in East Dunbartonshire and £9,090 towards play space at King George V Park in Kessington.
The plans for the iconic red sandstone Tudor Gothic mansion, which is a conservation area and category B listed, have faced opposition from some local people, Bearsden East Community Council and Milngavie Community Council, who have raised concerns about several issues.
These include: Traffic - they argue that the access on to Boclair Road is unsafe because there is a blind summit and cars travels fast along that section of the road.
Pedestrian safety - there is no clear pedestrian pavement on the development side of Boclair Road which means that people will have to cross to and from the existing pavement on the other side.
Noise - neighbours are concerned about late opening of bar and functions.
Tree loss - there are about 110 trees at the site, objectors say as many as possible should be preserved or replaced if necessary.
Loss of privacy - locals are worried that people will be able to see into their homes or daylight may be blocked.
Height of the houses - they will be two and a half storey high, taller than Boclair House roofline.
One of the objectors, Robin Marshall, said: “We are very worried about the safety of pedestrians as they will have to avoid speeding cars or walk between stationary vehicles queuing at Milngavie Road traffic lights to get to a pavement.
“We are also concerned about the impact on wildlife and we don’t feel that the plans take the conservation area into consideration.”
David Mawhinney, development manager of WPH Developments/Westpoint Homes, said: “We are very excited about this project - Boclair House has been there for such a long time and is well-loved within the area so we wanted to do something special with it.
“We believe that this hotel will sustain such an iconic building for generations to come and also protect the environment surrounding it.
“This development offers something new to the public in Bearsden.”