Public consultation: 92-94 Academy Street, Inverness
A public consultation about a proposed development for 92-94 Academy Street, Inverness, held yesterday (Thursday 25 August) attracted over 35 people to hear more about the plans for the site. The consultation, hosted by Ark Estates (Scotland) Ltd, aimed to inform the local community, businesses and organisations about the proposals, as well as seeking comments on the plans.
Andrew PK Wright, OBE, conservation architect and heritage consultant, said: “We have looked at numerous options for saving the buildings on the site, and have concluded that they are beyond economic repair. A well designed new scheme on this site has the potential to revitalise the surrounding historic buildings, and will bring much needed new life to this part of the conservation area”.
Internationally renowned architects, Keppie, are leading the project. Martin English, managing director of Keppie, said: “We were delighted to see so many people attending the public consultation on Thursday. At Keppie, we spend a lot of time gathering information to help us understand the local context for any building. A big part of our approach is being people focussed in everything that we do – understanding the realities of life, and observing the environment around us, and we see the public consultation is a vital part of the process of gathering this knowledge.”
Martin English continued: “Being involved in projects large and small, on a global scale, Keppie are able to bring extensive experience to each job.”
Keppie has already consulted with a range of organisations and local businesses, as well as The Highland Council (planning), PLACE (the Inverness design review panel) and Inverness BID.
The development proposed for Academy Street includes a 68 bedroom hotel over five floors, with a retail, office unit, bar or restaurant on the ground floor. Planning permission for the development will be submitted later this year.
The proposal has the potential to secure over 150 construction jobs during its development. The completed building would be likely to provide up to 55 hotel jobs after opening in 2013.