Work to begin shortly to breathe new life into fire-damaged building on Ayr High Street

Workers assess the extent of the damage from the fire that ripped through the building back in 2020
-Credit: (Image: Ayrshire Post)

Plans have been rubber stamped to breathe new life into a fire-damaged building on Ayr High Street.

The proposal relates to a council-owned premises at 17-21 High Street, Ayr.

Ayrshire Live previously told in May 2020 how a fire that ripped through the roof of the property signalled the death knell for one of the town’s longest serving independent retailers.

The World of Art store and gallery, on the ground floor of the premises, was extensively damaged as a result of the late night fire, prompting its eventual closure.

Council beaks wanted to carry out reinstatement works so that the building has a future. Ayrshire Live can reveal the proposals have been approved. Fire damage reinstatement works were previously approved. However, during development of technical information, inclusion of smoke vents in the roof over the rear stairwell were “required.”

And the attic layout has also been revised to “provide additional headroom” over the stair accessing the attic, both to comply with Building Standards.

A planning statement said: “The properties have been seriously damaged by a fire, which started in the upper level and subsequently required removal of the roof in its entirety for stability and safety. The lower levels suffered water and smoke damage and some structural issues as a result of the fire. The building has since been made safe and is regularly inspected.”

The statement continued: “Applications for planning permission and Listed Building consent are being sought for: upgrading of the two retail units at ground floor level, reinstatement of the main supporting structure and some internal partition walls at first, second and attic floor level and reinstatement of pitched slated roof to match pre-fire layout.”

The statement adds: “The proposals bring the ground floor retail units back in to use, by upgrading and enhancing the existing properties. And the proposals will improve the area’s character and appearance. Additional works to improve the energy efficiency of the building, by insulating the building envelope to a high standard, will update the properties to current Building Standards energy requirements.

“And the design and reinstatement works will be sensitive to the historic nature of the buildings.”

In approving the plan, council papers said: “It is considered that the proposals will have a neutral impact on the character, appearance or setting of the listed building. Given the assessment of the proposals and having balanced the applicant’s rights against the general interest, it is recommended that the application is approved.”

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