Dalhousie Castle and Spa’s owners, Robert Parker Collection Hotels, plan to house a dozen of the tourist cottages on its grounds. They say the move will ensure the future of the Grade A listed castle as a hotel, by providing more accommodation to meet demand at the site.
The proposals include 10 30 square meter cabins and two 40 square meter family cabins on the edge of a river meadow known as Anna Park.
A business plan presented by the hotel group, which specializes in castles and country houses, is intended to benefit both the hotel itself and the local economy.
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In a statement to planners, the company said: “In summary, the proposal is to develop future potential for an expanded offering at Dalhousie Castle to meet known demand for more accommodation.
“In order to secure the future of the castle as a hotel, create local employment opportunities, positively influence the local economy and protect the historically important property.”
The company describes its sector of the hospitality market as critical to the preservation of historic properties in Scotland and the UK that are no longer sustainable as private residences. It states: “For many country houses, 25 to 35 bedrooms is usually the limit of the sleeping places that can be accommodated in the surroundings of the traditional building, and stables, courtyards and other outbuildings are often used.
“While this number of bedrooms offers an intimate experience, it is very difficult to operate profitably. There simply aren’t enough revenue opportunities to cover the running costs of the kitchen, household chores and most importantly overheads, especially when you live in a 13th century castle.
The proposals include 10 pods with a floor area of 30 square meters and two family pods with 40 square meters.
“It’s a very expensive building to maintain. As the owner, RPC takes its responsibility for the management of Dalhousie Castle very seriously. We are determined to ensure its long-term viability while protecting its historical substance.”
The application can be viewed on the Midlothian planning portal.