Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Plans lodged for fire-damaged eyesore in Inverness city centre

A fire-damaged eyesore in Inverness city centre should be reinstated by the end of next year if new building plans are approved.

Proposals have just been lodged for work to restore the old Eastgate Hostel building to its former state.

It was seriously damaged by a blaze in April 2013 and scaffolding and hoardings have surrounded the property ever since.

The Eastgate Hostel went on fire in April 2013
The Eastgate Hostel went on fire in April 2013

But the new proposal involves dismantling and rebuilding the property’s frontage to allow a complete restoration from the new foundations upwards.

A Chinese takeaway and another retail unit will go in on the ground floor as before and the floors above will retain residential use – but it is unclear whether these will converted into flats or a hostel.

Iain Sibbald, chartered surveyor on the project, said: “We will have the building warrant application to do after we gain planning permission but we are hoping to be on site during spring 2017. “Construction will take about five to six months.”

Earlier plans to install a new roof and then add internal support structures to achieve a faster rebuild were dashed when engineering experts found the old building’s construction could not withstand the load.

Construction choices were also constrained by the building’s location, facing onto the Eastgate pedestrian precinct and backing on to a steep hillside.

Now, a steel frame will go in to support its roof, five floor levels and the rebuilt facade, resulting in a similar replacement building.

Majority owner, local businessman Imtaiz Ali, said: “We been working very closely with a range of third-party authorities and experts, including Highland Council’s planners, building control, independent construction engineers and the city centre conservation office, and have managed to find a safe and visually attractive way forward that we will progress as soon as we have permissions and warrants in place.”

“Apart from the physical issues, we are addressing all the challenges alongside two other owners of parts of the premises, which involves ongoing dialogues with three insurance companies and their loss adjusters.”

More than 50 residents were evacuated from the four-storey building when the fire took hold around 5.15am on April3.

The 51 backpackers and three staff escaped injury but many fled into the street in their nightclothes, leaving their belongings, including passports, behind.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]