PLANS to scale back Woodside Hotel in Aberdour have been rubber-stamped by Fife Council.

Owners John and Lis McTaggart are looking to reduce the main hotel to 13 bedrooms but the existing restaurant and bar facilities will be unaffected.

The couple were granted permission in 2018 to change the use of parts of the hotel in Aberdour to two residential townhouses but, following added pressures from the economic stress of the pandemic, they asked to vary that consent last year.

A planning statement explained previously that the viability of the hotel as it currently stood was "in question".

In response, they modified layouts to reduce the number of changes required, to allow them to retain more of the existing building and reduce the scale of the proposed extensions visually, believing this would make construction more cost-effective while improving layouts and securing the future of the hotel.

The hotel was built in 1873 for wealthy Victorians and is a category B-listed building.

Giving their reasoning for approval, Fife planners stated: "The proposal, subject to conditions, is considered acceptable in meeting the terms of the development plan and national guidance.

"The proposal is considered to be compatible with its surrounds in terms of land use; would not cause any significant detrimental impacts on the amenity of the surrounding area or road safety and is considered acceptable in terms of its visual impact on the surrounding Aberdour conservation area and this category B-listed building."

Fife's planning department have specified some conditions before work can get under way, including details of the specification and colour of all proposed external finishes which need be submitted to, and approved in writing by, Fife Council.

The finish proposed in plans was not accepted by planners and they have specified an off-white colour should be used on the extension, in the interests of visual amenity

In order to safeguard the archaeological heritage of the site, the developer has to secure a programme of archaeological work on the site to ensure that there is adequate opportunity to investigate, record and rescue remains on the site, which lies within an area of archaeological importance.

At least five parking spaces need to be provided for the two houses also.

The hotel has been operated by the couple since they bought it in 2017.

They also own McTaggart’s café in the village and have been residents of Aberdour for a number of years.

Woodside is within the conservation area with a central three-storey building and additional wings to each side which were formerly other properties incorporated over time into the main hotel.

The previous owners had gained consent in 2014 and the consent was renewed in 2018 by the McTaggarts.