Community bid to save historic Fife hotel beneath Forth Rail Bridge from flats plan

A Fife community is preparing a bid to buy out a historic hotel to save it from being turned into flats.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The Albert Hotel in North Queensferry boasts unrivalled views of the Forth Rail Bridge - and dates back to 1824.

A planning application from owners, SAAS Festival Inns, run by Edinburgh businessman Kenny Waugh, wants to turn the Category C-listed three storey building into four flats.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That sparked a backlash in the community which wants it saved as a hotel.

The Albert Hotel, North Queensferry (Picture Michael Gillen)The Albert Hotel, North Queensferry (Picture Michael Gillen)
The Albert Hotel, North Queensferry (Picture Michael Gillen)

Now, North Queensferry Community Trust has announced it is is working to facilitate its purchase by a group of local community investors, with a view to its restoration and re- opening.

The hotel - once one of 13 hostelries in the town - has been closed since 2017, and the current owners say it is no longer viable.

But the trust is working with investors to prepare a business plan which demonstrates it does have a future.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The aim is to submit that to Fife Council in support of its objection against the housing plan.

Iain G. Mitchell QC, who chairs the trust, said: “In order to be granted planning permission for change of use, the applicant requires to demonstrate that the building has no viable use as a hotel.

“Given the existence of a party willing to purchase the Albert and operate it as a valuable local facility within its existing use class, it is self-evident that the applicant will be unable to do so.”

The Trust also stated that it hoped the applicant will engage with the group in agreeing an amicable sale of the property.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The building on Main Street is in the centre of North Queensferry’s conservation area, and boasts spectacular views of the Forth Rail Bridge.

Last summer there was outrage after workmen moved in to remove the bar, and some of the existing floor and beams on the ground floor because of wood rot caused by damp.

SAAS Festival Inns said the development would “provide a new lease of life to the existing listed building.”

The hotel pre-dates the construction of the rail bridge in 1890.

Thank you for reading this article on our free-to-read website. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

Please consider purchasing a subscription to our print newspaper to help fund our trusted, fact-checked journalism.

Related topics: