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Crieff hotel to be demolished for new flats

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October 8 2014

Crieff hotel to be demolished for new flats
Demolition work has begun on the former Crown Hotel, Crieff, to make way for 14 affordable rent flats from Kingdom Housing Association.

The £1.9m build on East High Street will see the historic structure swept away, despite being in a conservation area, after being left to decay for 17 years to the point where the present structure is ‘unsafe’.

It will make way for a mixture of one and two bedroom flats.

Kingdom boss Charles Milne said: “Kingdom is very pleased to be able to contribute to the continuing regeneration of Crieff's town centre and, at the same time, to provide badly needed homes for affordable rent. This is an exciting project for us. It has been several years in the pipeline, so it is great to see work now getting underway.

“Wherever we seek to develop housing, we also seek to pay heed to the wishes of the local community and in choosing this site we we're mindful of Crieff's Community Action plan where the need for the provision of affordable housing was identified along with a requirement to find solutions to redundant and derelict buildings."

The new properties are being built by Campion Homes to a design by Sinclair Watt Architects, who claimed in their planning statement: "This application offers the prospect of removing a longstanding eyesore within the Crieff Conservation Area; replacing it with a well designed building which is sympathetic to the surrounding townscape."
Another hotel, the Kilt and Kelt, also appears to be on its last legs
Another hotel, the Kilt and Kelt, also appears to be on its last legs
Demolition of the former Crown Hotel is already underway
Demolition of the former Crown Hotel is already underway

The nearby Drummond Arms Hotel has also closed its doors
The nearby Drummond Arms Hotel has also closed its doors
The scheme was part financed by the Scottish government's town centre regeneration fund
The scheme was part financed by the Scottish government's town centre regeneration fund

34 Comments

hingwy
#1 Posted by hingwy on 8 Oct 2014 at 15:24 PM
Sad.
Another inspiring build to add to the SWA website.
Ian Nairn Jr
#2 Posted by Ian Nairn Jr on 8 Oct 2014 at 15:27 PM
One of Crieff's more characterful buildings. The one to be demolished that is.
I hope that's just a bad print, and they're not actually going to clad it in something butterscotch. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/49/Butterscotch_Angel_Delight.jpg/250px-Butterscotch_Angel_Delight.jpg
David
#3 Posted by David on 8 Oct 2014 at 16:00 PM
A note to Charles Milne, Kingdom HA

You should be ashamed of this. There is simply no excuse to providing such a poor quality replacement to a beautiful listed building. It is developments like this that simply destroy the rich character of many a small historic town.

Absolutely disgraceful.

I'd also like SWA to explain what it is about the existing building that is an eyesore, and why they felt it ok to replace it with such a poor quality newbuild. Reconstipated stone for one is not a suitable replacement. Look at the richness in the existing stonework on this street!!
hingwy
#4 Posted by hingwy on 8 Oct 2014 at 16:08 PM
Well spotted David, so it's going to be a mass of Forticrete coloured concrete blockwork!
Alf
#5 Posted by Alf on 8 Oct 2014 at 16:29 PM
Ian - from looking at SWA's website, sadly I dont think the image above is too far off what will be getting built.
I heart Gourock
#6 Posted by I heart Gourock on 8 Oct 2014 at 17:15 PM
Hear hear to comment #3 David.
Absolutely disgraceful.
Chris
#7 Posted by Chris on 8 Oct 2014 at 17:36 PM
Absolutely disgusted that this is happening. Didn't realise we were still in the 70s.
Malcolm Fraser
#8 Posted by Malcolm Fraser on 8 Oct 2014 at 19:01 PM
How has this happened, that this beautiful, serviceable, characterful little building is being demolished? And, please: "The scheme was part financed by the Scottish Government's town centre regeneration fund" - really! Have the civil servants who administer this fund not read the Town Centre Review itself? How has everything we said been so betrayed, here?
Sven
#9 Posted by Sven on 8 Oct 2014 at 21:05 PM
"Kingdom boss Charles Milne said: “It has been several years in the pipeline, so it is great to see work now getting underway."" after being left to decay for 17 years to the point where the present structure is ‘unsafe’."

So they left a list building to rot for years so they could knock it down and build a new build to save vat and other costs? How wonderful. Am surprised it did not catch fire during renovation as Scotland's listed buildings seem to have a lot of combustible stone.
Big Chantelle
#10 Posted by Big Chantelle on 8 Oct 2014 at 21:33 PM
The modernist brigade strikes yet again. Is no place safe from their wretched architecture?

Crief is a charming place in large part to its traditional architecture. That's its strength.

So obviously, the best thing to do is to knock a beautiful building to replace it with shoddy, modern tat that is inferior both materially and architecturally.

But hey, many here champion this kinda stuff.
Rem-Job
#11 Posted by Rem-Job on 9 Oct 2014 at 08:22 AM
Even if the 'designer' at SWA attempted to 'post rationalise' the intention I imagine they could not go beyond....'er I was just drawing stuff'
boaby wan
#12 Posted by boaby wan on 9 Oct 2014 at 09:26 AM
This is absolutely horrific!
The existing building looks like it has some quality to it - even after 17 years of (no doubt deliberate) neglect.
The proposal doesn't look to offer anything near the quality in terms of aesthetics/materials/streetscape etc - bad design, bad decision making from the council, no doubt pressured with the rotten carrot of "affordable housing" (which may disappear by the time the thing is built)
Egbert
#13 Posted by Egbert on 9 Oct 2014 at 09:34 AM
Big Chantelle there is absolutely nothing modernist about this development. Your one-size-fits-all critique is way off the mark here - this is a half-hearted attempt at contextualism using cheap imitations of the traditional forms and materials you espouse. If you read the comments above you'll see that the 'modernist brigade' you spend your days railing against are actually united in condemnation. The scheme is simply deplorable, and Perth & Kinross Council should be ashamed of allowing something this poor in a conservation area.
hingwy
#14 Posted by hingwy on 9 Oct 2014 at 09:52 AM
Such glee
http://www.housingnews.co.uk/index.asp?PortalID=8&cat=news&period=lastweek#463242
wonky
#15 Posted by wonky on 9 Oct 2014 at 12:47 PM
This whole business smells a little fishy: how did they gain planning permission to 1) demolish a listed building? 2) Present a design that is in no way sympathetic to the original scale? 3) that is also an effrontery to the contextuality of the Conservation Area? None of this makes any sense to me.
murphy
#16 Posted by murphy on 9 Oct 2014 at 13:01 PM
I'm speechless! How could this be possible?
Matthew Ansell
#17 Posted by Matthew Ansell on 9 Oct 2014 at 13:47 PM
How the hell did such an act of woeful vandalism get through planning!!?

Fishy indeed Wonkyman...

Surely the design statement actually read;
This application offers the prospect of demolishing a well built and historically significant building within the Crieff Conservation Area; replacing it with a poorly considered, cheaply built pastiche building which is completely unsympathetic to the surrounding townscape...
boaby wan
#18 Posted by boaby wan on 9 Oct 2014 at 14:02 PM
I can't believe there were no objections to this!
Seems there have been a few planning proposals for reusing/converting the building - and one for demolition approved in 07.
The most recent application for demolition is marked as "withdrawn" wonder how they have managed to start the demo without a permission in place? must be a brown envelope loophole in the planning laws…
Would love to read the conservation officers comments on the proposals, unfortunately that doesn't appear to feature on the document list - some of the statements made in the supporting statement are so far from the images/plans you wonder if there was a different scheme approved!
Keith Vance
#19 Posted by Keith Vance on 9 Oct 2014 at 14:16 PM
Astonishing. I can only assume that the Crieff Conservation Area Appraisal has been compiled for no reason whatsoever.

http://www.pkc.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=3772
Walt Disney
#20 Posted by Walt Disney on 9 Oct 2014 at 14:23 PM
3-2-1..... you're back in 1983. I don't think its fair to heap too much on to the architect. You've got a client who's only interested in ticking the HFVN boxes rather than design quality and you have a local authority who have rolled over to get rid of a 'problem'. The whole thing lacks ambition and morality.
dalrylama
#21 Posted by dalrylama on 9 Oct 2014 at 14:34 PM
In the words of Charlie Brown: Good Crieff!
james
#22 Posted by james on 9 Oct 2014 at 18:07 PM
...'to a design by Sinclair Watt Architects, who claimed in their planning statement: "This application offers the prospect of removing a longstanding eyesore within the Crieff Conservation Area; replacing it with a well designed building which is sympathetic to the surrounding townscape." - Clearly it is the breath-taking arrogance and crass ignorance of architects (who'll no doubt be chartered and qualified to the hilt, but void of education) that enable such vandalism to happen. Oh how were we betrayed!! - architects are tossers that's why!
Art Vandelay
#23 Posted by Art Vandelay on 9 Oct 2014 at 21:11 PM
As awful as it undoubtedly is, it still has to get signed off by the client and planning...all parties equally to blame! Shocking lack of ambition and imagination.
Cateran
#24 Posted by Cateran on 9 Oct 2014 at 21:26 PM
It's the architectural equivalent of a floater. Buildings like this have been left lying about so many Scottish towns and they are without exception memorable for their awfulness. De gustibus non est disputandum.
Stephen
#25 Posted by Stephen on 9 Oct 2014 at 23:37 PM
Staggeringly poor design proposal. Staggeringly poor decision by the planning dept.
P.S. Chantelle, you should probably brush up on your architectural history - specifically the definition of modernism.
Cadmonkey
#26 Posted by Cadmonkey on 10 Oct 2014 at 00:04 AM
I can't see why that existing building is listed. Cann anyone prove it? If so I am sure LBC will not be granted for its demolition. As for the proposed design, it looks fine enough and a contextual response appropriate for a back street background building.
The Monkey Has Spoken.
Hingwy
#27 Posted by Hingwy on 10 Oct 2014 at 08:49 AM
It's on the main street, monkey.
Kate Latto
#28 Posted by Kate Latto on 10 Oct 2014 at 12:29 PM
Absolutely shocking and sad. There is no excuse for this kind of decision making.
CADMonkey
#29 Posted by CADMonkey on 10 Oct 2014 at 19:20 PM
http://www.kingdomhousing.org.uk/development/development/east-high-street-crieff/

I looks absolutely knackered and I've checked Historic Scotland web site and see no evidence that it is listed. The centre of crieff badly needs more people living here, just look at the number of shops to let, and quality of what is there, so surely this is actually a good thing. Its lain empty for 17 years!!!
Cripes
#30 Posted by Cripes on 10 Oct 2014 at 22:50 PM
It's not listed. http://www.buildingsatrisk.org.uk/search/keyword/Crieff/p/2/event_id/980801/building_name/crown-hotel-23-37-east-high-street-crieff

If this was in Edinburgh someone would challenge this like they did Cammo Home Farm: Arts&Crafts left to rot. But listed.
boaby wan
#31 Posted by boaby wan on 13 Oct 2014 at 09:42 AM
CADMonkey, the problem is complex - I'm not sure the answer is allowing a poor building in a conservation area just because the building occupying the site has been left to fall into dis-repair.
My guess is that the incentives for new build are more attractive to a developer rather than reuse/refurbishment, which is a shame in this instance.
Previous proposals for adapting the building have been approved, so it must be possible but more difficult without as much profit for the developer (not to mention the VAT back)
Poor show all round in my opinion, attracting people to live there would be possible in a conversion or in a new build so using that as a justification for this vandalism doesn't hold any weight with me.
JD
#32 Posted by JD on 13 Oct 2014 at 14:12 PM
Being brought up in Crieff I am very disappointed to see this poor excuse of a building get approval. Unfortunately, there are a number of former hotels/ pubs dotted throughout Crieff in a similar condition. You could argue that these hotels once quite prosperous have fallen victim to the great success and offer of the Crieff Hydro. The Hydro has everything a visitor would need, and therefore there is absolutely no reason for anybody to venture into town. Other businesses simply cannot compete with the hydro. Locally there are a large number of flats to let and for sale. Other than the recent boom from the influx of Balfour Beatty construction workers working on the Beauly-Denny powerline many people struggle to find tenants and properties lie empty. I find it hard to see that there will be anybody to buy/rent these flats. I guarantee that this is the first of many proposals to hit Crieff. Having recently been purchased admittedly of a lesser character and quality, I believe the vacant Strathearn Hotel will suffer a similar fate and the once great Drummond Arms Hotel lies slowly decaying on James Square.
John Glenday
#33 Posted by John Glenday on 13 Oct 2014 at 14:35 PM
I popped up to see Crieff for myself at the weekend and was struck by the number of vacant shop units - even the tourist information office was shut. You could also add the Kilt & Kelt on Commissioner Street to that list JD. I've added some pictures.
Gib
#34 Posted by Gib on 13 Oct 2014 at 15:25 PM
The size of Crieff means that it can't really afford to lose any interesting, characterful building. Once it's gone, it's gone.
I recall that Crieff was the focus of a GSA Stage 3 design brief a couple of years ago and some very interesting designs were produced (I think even this site was used for some of the proposals).

The loss of this, and other hotels, is also reflected in many other trossachs towns which used to thrive under railway tourism during the steam age, but now struggle to support the over provision of large, Victorian hotels in modern times now that tourist habits have completely changed.

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