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Business / Brevik hotel could create over 20 new jobs

An image of what the hotel could look like. Courtesy of Macaulay Miller Architecture.

THE PROPOSED Premier Inn hotel on the site of Brevik House in Lerwick could create around 24 new jobs if its plans come to fruition.

The hotel would also feature a restaurant and bar in addition to around 91 rooms.

The proposed hotel already has outline planning permission and now developers have submitted more details about its design and operation.

Included is a confirmation that the hotel on South Road would be built under the Premier Inn brand.

Planning documents state that 24 full and part-time jobs could be created if the three-floor hotel opened.

There would be no more than 12 staff on at any one time.

Breiwick Bay Properties Ltd gained planning permission last year for over 30 flats and houses on the site after seemingly giving up on its original idea to build a hotel, which first surfaced back in 2014.

But the developer is now seeking approval to progress with demolishing the dormant Brevik House and press ahead with the construction of the hotel and associated parking.

A group of North mainland accommodation providers, however, previously issued a formal objection against the application, claiming it would have “potential for detrimental material impacts on the character” of the local sector, while owners of a Lerwick guest house also voiced concern.

The planning documents add that the proposed hotel’s food and drink area – likely to be branded the Thyme Bar and Grill – would be open for residents and non-residents.

It would serve breakfast from 6am and 10am before selling food and beverages through the majority of the day. Alcohol could be on sale from 11am to half past midnight, subject to a licence being given.

The proposal comes at a time when a number of hotels in Shetland are on the market, with both the Queens and the Grand in Lerwick up for sale.

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The North Mainland accommodation providers who objected to the Brevik plans believe that the proposal for a hotel “appears not to fulfil any readily identifiable demand”.

Scalloway Hotel, Brae Hotel and Herrislea House Hotel are also on the market.

Breiwick Bay Properties Ltd said in response to the providers’ objection: “The principle of a hotel development on this site has already been established through the granting of planning permission in principle in March 2017.

“The key matters up for consideration in terms of this application relate to the location of the building on the site and its design, not whether or not a hotel of this scale is acceptable.

“The council must determine the application it has before it at this time, irrespective of any previous proposals for alternative forms of development. We are very much looking forward to bringing this exciting project to Shetland.”

Lerwick Community Council previously noted the application and said it was supportive of a development which could help tourism and employment.

There is also potential for travelling oil and gas workers needing a new place to stay in the not too distant future after the company behind the 426-room Sella Ness accommodation camp recently failed in its bid to extend its planning permission beyond November 2020.

The idea of a Brevik hotel was first revealed back in 2014, but initial plans for 125 bedrooms were scaled back to 91.

Brevik House, the old local NHS headquarters, has been used in recent years by a group collecting aid items for refugees.

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