A PLAN to replace an eyesore dilapidated building in the heart of Largs with a boutique hotel is moving ahead.

We reported in 2017 that local businessman John Corrigan had received 'conditional' planning permission for project on a derelict site facing onto Gallowgate Square - but the project never got off the ground.

Architects McMillan & Cronin have now submitted updated designs to council bosses that could see the project resurrected.

They include a reception area and 14 state-of-the-art rooms, with the proposal described as being aimed at ‘the fast-growing budget boutique market’.

The site initially housed a single storey property which was demolished 20 years ago.

The design brief, seen by the News, says: “Largs has suffered heavily from the loss of a ‘traditional’ hotel accommodation, where stay, drink and dine, was the blend of offerings. It no longer has a significant level of overnight accommodation available, yet the demand for such is seen as booming in many areas - but through a different type of product offering.

“Budget and boutique hotel accommodation is seen as being a fast growing industry.”

The definition of a boutique brand is given in the brief as a hotel which ‘distinguishes itself from a chain by giving its guest an ultra-personalised service’ through the aesthetics, atmosphere and service.

Mr Corrigan told the News he is excited by the development.

He said: “It will generate some more town centre accommodation, which is badly needed with the boost in 'staycations'.

"I already have three holiday lets right next to the site, and they have been very popular, so it gives me a good indication of the demand.

“If you can bring people here to stay overnight then everyone wins, from the pubs and restaurants to all of the shops.

"I am looking forward to driving this project forward."

The latest application also includes recognition that an archaeological investigation is needed at the site, necessary because it is based within a historic part of the town.

A full draft of the data structure report will be circulated to North Ayrshire Council and the West of Scotland Archaeology Service for comment.

Rathmell Archaeology Ltd say they could start when required, and the duration of their works on-site will depend on both what is found and the work programme of the main contractor.