ONE of the highest-rated hotels in the Helensburgh and Lomond area has been given permission to restore its public bar – two years after it was removed due to lack of demand.

The four-star Knockderry Country House Hotel in Cove also received permission for last orders for alcohol to be brought forward by at least an hour daily from Monday to Saturday.

The owners of the hotel, on Shore Road, had their proposals heard by the Argyll and Bute licensing board on Tuesday, June 23.

Previously, alcohol sales were only available to residents at the hotel and their guests, along with those attending functions or having a meal.

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However, a report claimed that demand for a public bar has risen due to the lack of a similar facility in the area.

The hotel’s alcohol trading hours were previously 11am to midnight Monday to Thursday, 11am to 1am Friday and Saturday, and 12.30pm to 11pm on Sunday.

The board approved a request to change these to 11am to 11pm Monday to Friday and 11am to midnight on Saturday, with the Sunday hours unchanged.

The report which went before the board said: “The hotel is a large building, having several function rooms, a very small public bar area, lounge area and three separate restaurant areas.

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“There are two verandah areas, one of which is designed for access by wheelchair from the hotel and other disabled features have been incorporated into the design.

“Meal service takes place in all the public areas and on the verandahs.

"The principal activity is the provision of restaurant and accommodation and function facilities.

“The hotel is a free standing listed Victorian Country House Hotel, solely occupied, rated four-star and ‘Rosetted’.

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“On Loch Long, a lightly populated area, it serves the local residential and business community as well as tourists many of them from abroad.

“Sitting in its own grounds the hotel has car parking for its 18 staff as well as for 40 customer vehicles and moorings for six yachts.”

The report, which also said that an environmental health officer had no concerns, added: “Due to lack of demand in the past, the applicant decided to remove casual footfall to the premises and remain on a booking entry only.

“Local demand has returned due to a lack of like vicinity in the area and the applicant seeks to restore activities and description of premises to include entry without booking and to restore use of the bar to the public as before.”

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