PLANS have been unveiled for the renovation of fire-damaged buildings in the centre of Ayr.

Applications for planning permission and 'listed building consent' have been lodged by South Ayrshire Council's professional design services team for 17-21 High Street. 

The properties were seriously damaged by a fire nearly four years ago, which started in the upper level of the property, above what was the World of Art store, opposite the open space which is now home to the Cutty Sark Centre.

Six fire crews were called out to tackle the blaze on May 17, 2020.

The damage required the removal of the building's roof. 

The lower levels suffered water and smoke damage, but the buildings have since been made safe. 

Prior to the fire, the first floor of the property formed part of the Town Hall, but was unused because of access constraints.

The second floor comprised two residential flats, while the attic was vacant.

Outline proposals for the restoration of the building were approved by the local authority's planning department in September 2021, while separate applications for planning permission and listed building consent for revised design proposals were lodged the following year.

The council is now looking to upgrade the two retail units on the ground floor, reinstate the main supporting structure and some walls on the first, second and attic floors, and reinstate the slated roof.

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The building is category B listed, and is located within the Ayr Central conservation area.

The council says the proposals will bring the ground floor retail units back into use, improve the energy efficiency of the building, and will improve the area's character and appearance. 

Planning documents state: "The fire caused damage to the roof, attic and second floor structure of the building. The first and ground floor were affected by water and smoke damage.

"The damaged structural elements have been removed and the building has been made safe.

"A temporary roof was installed to protect the interior of the building from the elements.

"The development will provide short term economic growth in the area during the refurbishment and reinstatement works.

"It would be intended to utilise local labour as much as possible for the construction.

"More long term, the proposals will encourage footfall in the area once the two retail units are occupied."

The application and related documents can be viewed online at by searching for the reference code 24/00229/LBC.