Developers have lodged plans to demolish a dilapidated building in the centre of Moray’s biggest town and replace it with a new block of flats.
Elgin residents have called for a derelict former commercial premises next to the Cooperage bar to be repurposed since it was vacated in 2008.
And local firm Springfield Properties has now tabled an ambitious plan to create a block of 15 flats in its place.
A design statement submitted to Moray Council’s planning department asks officers to grant permission for the renovation of the listed building.
It says: “The proposals seek the demolition and reconstruction of the existing buildings at 184-188 High Street, to form a retail unit and serviced accommodation comprising 15 apartments.
“This application seeks listed building consent, and planning permission for the demolition of the existing, structurally unsafe buildings.
“Our application for the demolition of these listed buildings is supported by sufficient information to evidence that every effort has been made to safegaurd it, but its overall condition is found to be too poor to retain.”
The document states that developers have offered no car parking provision for prospective tenants, as the site has good public transport links and offers “car-free opportunity”.
Recent Moray Council reports describe the site as being in “poor condition”, with “slipped slates and broken rooflights”.
The crumbling building was given a fresh coat of beige paint late last year, in an effort to make it appear less unsightly.
Last night, Elgin City North councillor, Patsy Gowans, welcomed the project which she said could bring some new life to the High Street.
But she warned developers that they might face a public backlash if the design tendered is not in-keeping with other buildings in the traditional part of the town.
Mrs Gowans said: “I am happy with the idea of having new homes in the centre of Elgin, that could be a boost for businesses.
“But I think people will only really be keen on the idea if the new building fits in with the look of the High Street.
“The complex would have to be modern, but that is an area of traditional architecture and it would have to retain that essence.”