A contentious plan to build flats at a former Perth hospital has been approved by the Scottish Government.
London-based developers Rivertree Residential want to alter and partially raze the disused former Murray Royal building to create 58 flats.
Rivertree’s application was submitted in March 2018 but eight months later councillors failed to make a decision, despite the advice of planning officers to reject the proposal.
The Scottish Government’s planning and environmental appeals division (DPEA) has now granted permission.
A separate Rivertree planning application for another 70 homes in grounds of the former hospital has yet to be determined by planners.
The two planning applications are linked by a condition preventing any development in the grounds of the hospital until 30 flats have been completed in the conversion of the hospital itself.
The proposals attracted more than a dozen objections from residents and Bridgend, Gannochy and Kinnoull Community Council (BGKCC).
Fears focused on a stark increase in traffic brought on by the development at an area which already suffers from severe congestion.
Murray Royal’s abandoned buildings have been earmarked for housing or community use in the council’s local development plan but there are no recommendations in place for the extent of the development.
Government reporter Dan Jackman investigated wider traffic issues including how the nearby roads network will be affected by the £114m Cross Tay Link Road project.
During around a year and a half spent investigating the case, a public inquiry was held last June to further investigate.
BGKCC spokesperson David Beattie said the watchdog will not take part in any public inquiries again.
He said: “The appellant had a QC, the council had their legal team and we only had ourselves.
“We feel we weren’t listened to after putting in months of effort.
“The reporter said before that he would approve it and our last throw of the dice was writing a letter to ask that a proper traffic assessment was conducted. Even if they’d granted it pending an assessment, we’d have taken it.”
Reporter Mr Jackson believes the issue of traffic has been adequately scrutinised.
He said: “In reaching my conclusions I considered all the evidence, including the evidence provided by the community council.
“I appreciate that the community council disagrees with me. Nonetheless, they raise no new substantive matters that have not already been considered.”
Rivertree are expected to soon begin work on the 193-year-old hospital’s A-listed main building and C-listed Elcho and Birnam wards, retaining the B-listed chapel as a communal building.
A council spokesperson said it had noted the decision.