Ambitious plans to transform a landmark Perth building into a boutique hotel have been lodged with council chiefs.
Developers wants to convert the old council chambers at the corner of Tay Street and High Street into a 55 room establishment.
Full details have yet to be released, but The Courier can reveal there are designs for a 50-cover fine dining restaurant and events space.
It is also proposed that key features of the 140-year-old building, including the old Chamber area, will be restored and opened up to the public.
Now residents and businesses are being given the chance to shape the project. Perth and Kinross Council has launched an eight-week consultation exercise to gauge support for the building’s transformation.
It follows an intensive campaign to attract hoteliers to the Fair City.
The building, which is mostly empty with a registrar’s office on the ground floor, was declared surplus to requirements.
A council spokeswoman said: “Following this decision, the property was marketed to establish if there would be interest for a hotel development opportunity.
“Proposals have come forward for that use, which would incorporate the former Council Chambers and Justice of the Peace rooms.”
She said feedback from the consultation will be reported back to councillors.
In a statement posted on the consultation page, the spokeswoman added: “As is usual with historic buildings, they will go into decline quickly if they are left empty.
“The proposed hotel development in the building will give enhanced public access to heritage assets.”
She said: “Sensitive appropriate re-development is proposed to the interior and exterior including preservation of the timber wall panelling, vaulted ceilings and exterior stone facade cleaning which will breathe life into the building as a quality hotel.”
Locals are being asked if they agree with the proposed redevelopment, and if they think it will offer better access to “heritage assets”.
The consultation comes amid fresh concern over the city centre, following the announcement that Beales department store could close.
A meeting of traders last week heard calls for more free parking.
Asked about potential parking issues at the hotel site, head of planning and development David Littlejohn said in December: “There’s no requirement in planning legislation to provide parking spaces for hotels, it’s customer choice.
“There will be a few spaces at the back of the building, but the expectation will be to park elsewhere and walk.”