Plans to transform a vacant Ayr retail unit into a dwelling flat have been knocked back.

Planning permission had been sought with South Ayrshire Council to re-purpose the unit at 9 Old Bridge Street, which has been vacant since 2021. 

No prospective tenant or purchaser had been found for the property, and the owners had lodged plans to transform the ground floor site into accommodation.

The property is located within the Ayr Outstanding Conservation Area. 

External physical works associated with the proposals included the infilling of the existing shopfront with a buff render and the installation of two high level windows. 

Whilst council planning officers accepted that the change of use was beneficial, the proposal was knocked back due to the scale of the exterior alterations put forward. 

Council planning documents state: "The case officer afforded the applicant's agent an opportunity to submit revised proposals which sought to either preserved or enhanced the character of the conservation area.

"The case officer also met the applicant, at their request, at the application site.

"At the site meeting, the case officer presented alternative options to the applicant so as to preserve the character and appearance of the conservation area.

"Such options included the installation of frosted glass, shutter blinds, false frontage; however, the he applicant intimated that none of these options were viable but did not explain why this was the case.

"It is unfortunate that an alternative design solution to the building's frontage was not proposed.

"While the principle of the proposed development is acceptable in land use planning terms, the external physical works to the existing shopfront will have a significant adverse impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area."