The transformation of a hotel and pub into a cancer drop-in centre will “enhance the area and bring back into use a vacant building”.
Ayrshire Cancer Support is to turn the former St Andrews Hotel in Ayr into a centre for day services such as therapies, counselling, and support groups.
Planners pointed out that the change in use of the property would be less “intensive” than its previous operation as a hotel/pub.
They also pointed out that, although the building is not listed, it remained a historically valuable property.
The proposals will see an existing flat roof extension to the hotel demolished to make way for a new extension.
In their report, planners stated: “The change of use of the building from a hotel and public house is considered acceptable as its proposed use is considered less intensive than that of its former use.”
The centre will be open on weekdays between 9am and 5pm, providing space for offices, counselling services, complementary therapies, support groups (relaxation, talk therapy, cancer specific, play therapy) and drop-in for information/referral to services for cancer patients and their families.
The report continued: “Although the building is not listed or sited within a conservation area, it is of a sizeable building with baronial character and appearance and unique within the streetscape.”
Planners also said that, while the planned extension was a “contrast” to the original building, both its position to the rear of the building and similar extensions to neighbouring properties negated the impact.
They added: “The proposals will not adversely impact any neighbouring properties in terms of privacy or amenity.
“The proposal represents a less intensive use of the premises which will operate 9am to 5pm weekdays only, and will not have a night-time economy, as that of the public house/hotel.
“It is considered that the proposals shall enhance the area and bring back into use a vacant building within the town.”
By local democracy reporter Kevin Dyson