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Inverness charity shop could be demolished to make way for homes

By Val Sweeney

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Plans have been submitted to replace a charity shop in Inverness city centre with 10 new flats.

The plans from Ark Estates would see the demolition of the building occupied by New Start Highland in Church Street.

It would be replaced with a four-storey building housing 10 one-bedroom flats and a shop on the ground floor.

It comes as the charity prepares to move to a new location in the city which will better suit its needs.

Ark Estates was behind the housing development in Raining’s Stairs which was one of 10 winning developments in last year’s annual Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland awards.

Colin Armstrong Architects, which has designed the proposed development, states the existing premises are not suitable for a viable or practicable conversion and, although it is located in a conservation area, it is not a listed building.

In a statement it says the proposal will contribute towards the shortfall of housing in the city centre.

“City centre living brings with it the advantages of ease of access to public transport, employment opportunities and supports local businesses,” it says.

It also says the success of recent contemporary developments, such as Raining’s Stairs, demonstrate that the juxtaposition of old and new is both effective and efficient in terms of securing a development which meets current building regulations.

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