Plan for mod­ern flats in Perth ‘un­suit­able’

DE­VEL­OP­MENT: Her­itage group says con­ver­sion de­signs do not fit in with the con­ser­va­tion area

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS - JAMIE BUCHAN jabuchan@the­

Plans for a mod­ern block of flats on the edge of Perth’s cen­tre have been crit­i­cised by a city her­itage group.

The Perth Civic Trust is call­ing for pro­pos­als to con­vert a King Street build­ing to be re­jected.

The plan has been put for­ward by John McKin­lay Print­ers, which has been part of the Fair City for more than a cen­tury.

The fam­ily-run busi­ness hopes to build five flats on the up­per lev­els of its King Street premises. The move in­volves the de­mo­li­tion of a “dan­ger­ous” derelict Canal Street prop­erty at the rear of the shop, which would be­come an en­trance stair­way for the new-look block.

John McKin­lay stressed the print works will re­main on the ground floor. He said the main rea­son be­hind the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion was the de­mo­li­tion of the derelict build­ing, which sur­vey­ors say is beyond struc­tural and eco­nomic re­pair.

“We have also sub­mit­ted plans for the flats on King Street in case it’s some­thing we want to con­sider fur­ther down the line,” he said.

Perth Civic Trust’s ob­jec­tion states the scheme is un­suit­able for the con­ser­va­tion area.

In a let­ter to plan­ners, trustee Tony Simp­son said: “The pro­posed de­vel­op­ment is not ap­pro­pri­ate on the bound­ary of me­dieval Perth.”

He said a planned flat roof did not com­ple­ment the ad­ja­cent build­ing and pointed out the BT build­ing fur­ther along Canal Street was a bet­ter ex­am­ple of a “mod­ern de­sign in a con­ser­va­tion area”.

Mr Simp­son added: “Perth Civic Trust be­lieves this is an ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity to de­sign a new build­ing with its odd foot­print which will com­ple­ment and knit into the mix­ture of roof el­e­ments and dif­fer­ing chim­ney heads in the im­por­tant con­ser­va­tion area.”

The plans have been scaled down to four storeys from orig­i­nal pro­pos­als sub­mit­ted last year, which pro­posed five lev­els.

A de­sign brief lodged with Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil states: “The premises to the rear on Canal Cres­cent have not been used for many years and are derelict and in a poor state of re­pair and dan­ger­ous con­di­tion.

“In or­der to con­vert the two up­per floors of the King Street premises and to achieve ac­cess to these prop­er­ties a new ac­cess stair re­quires to be built at the rear. This would al­low the ground floor to con­tinue as a print work­shop.”

Plan­ners are ex­pected to rule on the ap­pli­ca­tion in the com­ing weeks.

The pro­posed de­vel­op­ment is not ap­pro­pri­ate on the bound­ary of me­dieval Perth. TONY SIMP­SON OF PERTH CIVIC TRUST

Artist’s im­pres­sion of the King Street de­vel­op­ment.

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