Fears raised over the future of historic house

Kilmardinny House, Bearsden
Kilmardinny House, Bearsden

Concerns have been raised about the council’s plans to extend a landmark which is currently being used as an arts centre.

East Dunbartonshire Council has submitted a planning application for the refurbishment of Kilmardinny House, in Bearsden, including internal redecoration and repairs to external stonework and windows at the Georgian villa, as well as an extension which is designed to provide space for a banqueting suite.

The new garden pavilion would be connected to the existing house which could then be used for weddings and business conferences.

The council plans to spend £2.58 million and the scheme will go before the planning board in December.

However some people are worried that the new extension will not be in keeping with the grade A-listed building and that it will look “stark and functional”.

Gordon Cox, convener of Bearsden North Community Council, said: “We welcome the intention to provide a facility for weddings and other events however the new extension is totally out of character with the rest of the building.

“Some people think it will look like a crematorium.

“It’s certainly not going to be a very appealing entrance for weddings.”

They are also concerned that the only external entrance to the function suite will be from a side entrance at the back of the building.

Gordon added: “A welcoming open glass-fronted entrance with lots of light would be much better.

“The plans also have an obvious omission - a French-window type access from the rear of the new function suite onto the lawned and attractive gardens, which would be ideal for weddings.”

Thomas Glen, director of development and regeneration at East Dunbartonshire Council, said: “The proposals for Kilmardinny House have been through a range of design stages, in consultation with statutory consultees, user groups and members of the public at a number of engagement events.

“The proposed plans are currently going through the formal statutory planning and listed building consent processes and will go before the council’s planning board in December.”