Parking row threatens town’s only hope of five-star boutique hotel


A row over parking spaces in the Scottish town of Ayr is delaying the area’s only hope of a five-star hotel.

Bellesie House in Ayr is currently undergoing major restoration work to be transformed into one of Scotland’s top luxury hotels, but now the project has stalled amidst council opposition to proposed expansion plans to accommodate more parking for the property.

The 18th century mansion was purchased in June 2012 by businessman John Campbell, who now wants to buy Pets Cornet to create an additional 135 car spaces, but South Ayrshire Council bosses are refusing to part with the ground.

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Speaking to the Scottish Daily Record, entrepreneur Campbell said that he has already poured £1.3m of his own money into saving the Belleisle building, but has been met with a number of setbacks that will require another £6m to be spent.

Originally scheduled to open in spring 2016, the new Belleisle Mansion Hotel and Spa will boast 90 bedrooms, its own spa and swimming pool, plus a ballroom with capacity for up to 400 guests, to make it one of the largest function and event venues in Ayrshire.

The development of the original house will also include the creation of a new grand staircase, reception and lounge, two new restaurants and bar, plus 12 guest suites and the spa.

Mike Newall, head of neighbourhood services at South Ayrshire Council, said: “Belleisle attracts around 120,000 visitors a year and there is ample parking to support these visitors and many more.

“We have had several discussions with Mr Campbell and he has been told previously that the Pet’s Corner site is to be used as a maintenance yard for the grounds keepers. Moving the maintenance equipment to this area means parking will increase.

“We will continue to talk to Mr Campbell regarding parking for the hotel and work with him to find a solution.”

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Zoe Monk

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