An eyesore Perth building will be given a new lease of life as part of a wider bid to attract more students into the city centre.
Plans to convert the long-vacant Co-operative Society building on Scott Street into flats have been approved.
Developers McDermott Group, based at Inveralmond, tabled its proposal earlier this year. The firm wants to transform the four-storey block into 47 “high quality” bedrooms and 30 self-contained studios.Designs also include community facilities and a lift.
The building, which dates back to 1904, has featured on Scotland’s Buildings at Risk register. The ground floor has been used for various retail units over the years, but the floors above have been empty and boarded up for some time.
Perth and Kinross Council has agreed to grant planning permission for a change of use from shop to student accommodation.
The scheme was passed after failing to attract any objections.
In his report, planning officer John Russell said the proposal complied with local policy and it would boost the local economy.
“In this case, I do not consider that the provision of student accommodation will be at odds with the prevailing character of the area,” he said.
“I noted that concerns can be raised regarding the potential behaviour of students, particularly in terms of rowdiness, loud noise and partying.
“However, there is no certainty that occupation of the development by students would inevitably give rise to such problems.”
The block is among several city centre buildings the local authority is keen to see restored, including the decaying St Paul’s Church.
Creating more student accommodation in the city centre is part of the wider Perth City Plan, which aims to revitalise the local nigh-time economy.
In their submission to the council, Glasgow-based architects CRGP said: “Our proposal represents an exciting opportunity to breathe new life into a prominent local landmark and provide a new, dynamic and sustainable future for the building.”
A spokesman added: “Our main objective is to bring the building back into use with restoration of the prominent sandstone corner block which is currently in a very poor condition.”
The City of Perth Co-operative Society flagship once dominated Scott Street and was one of the biggest stores in the area.
Its name is still engraved in sandstone above the former entrance.