Friday, November 28, 2008

Bistro and spa for Dornoch Castle Hotel?

According to an article in The Northern Times GTS members and Dornoch Castle owners Colin and Roz Thompson have lodged a planning application to build an 11-bedroom extension to the hotel.

"The enterprising couple also want permission to construct a new bistro and to convert a building at the bottom of the hotel garden into a spa. The development marks a substantial investment for Dornoch and will be welcomed locally."
As the industry well knows fears were raised only last year that a lack of bed spaces in the town would have an effect on golf tourism to the area given that both The Burghfield and The Royal Golf are closed.
With work about to start on the Burghfield House Hotel to turn it into a hospitality training centre for the North Highland College. and the 24-bedroom Royal Golf Hotel, bought earlier this year by a consortium of businessmen headed by David Sutherland, chairman of Tulloch Homes, has now been closed for two years.
"There is a difference between applying for planning permission and going ahead with a project," said Colin Thompson. "We're confident the market is there, but obviously undertaking such a project will involve us borrowing money. We'll be proceeding with extreme caution and prudence and have not set a timeline given current economic events. Once planning consent is granted, it stays in force for five years and I'd like to think everything will be done well inside that time frame."
Mr Thompson said he would be working closely with Historic Scotland and planners in order to ensure construction and design work was in tune with the history of the castle. The building is thought to date back to the late 15th century and to have been built as the residential palace of the Bishops of Caithness.

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