Hillend hotel plan shelved

Monday August 3rd 2020

Hillend Hotel

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

The hotel industry will take 10 years to return to pre-pandemic profits, developers have warned after they shelved plans for a new facility at Hillend.

The applicants behind the proposed 31-bedroom hotel near Hillend have scrapped the plans for the ‘troubled site’ in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis.

Instead, they are asking Midlothian Council to allow them to turn the former petrol station land into 14 flats and two terraced houses to help improve the ‘status and appearance’ of it.

The land, which lies 70 metres north of the A702 junction with Pentland Road and the A703, has not been used as a petrol station for 20 years and in recent times has had car wash services and Christmas tree sellers use it.

In 2009, planning permission was granted for the hotel to be built on the site; however, plans were delayed by the financial crash the year before and have now been shelved following lockdown.

Applicants C.M. Roofing and Building Ltd have asked the council to allow them to build housing on the site under current circumstances.

In a supporting statement to planners, the company said: “The applicants envisaged that this hotel would complement the sporting and leisure facilities in the nearby Pentland Regional Park.

“The recent pandemic has caused the latest well-advanced initiative to fail and it is now anticipated that the hotel sector will take yet another 10 years to recover to pre-pandemic profitability.

“In an attempt to improve the status and appearance of the site, the owner has consented to the submission of this residential development application.”

The applicants acknowledge that residential housing on the site would be against the local authority’s development plan but appeals for it to be considered to avoid it lying empty for another long period of time.

They said: “The adoption of an appropriate residential development for this troubled site would, at very least, represent a significant visual improvement over the ongoing status quo.”

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