PLANS to demolish a listed building in Eyemouth which has been labelled an ‘eyesore’ have been withdrawn after architectural heritage concerns were raised.

The applicant, fishmonger D R Collin Limited, sought planning and Conservation Area consent to demolish the existing building located at 34 Harbour Road.

Following the demolition it was the intention of the applicant to reconstruct a single two-storey house on the footprint of the existing structure.

The derelict building has been unused for many years and has been boarded up for health and safety reasons.

It currently provides a roosting area for pigeons, as a result of the missing roof tiles.

But an objection to the plan was raised by the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland Forth & Borders Cases Panel, a spokesperson saying: “The fact that a building has been unoccupied for a period and is in poor repair is not a justification for demolition and, indeed, the owner has had a statutory obligation to maintain it during the period that they have owned it.

“The building continues to contribute interest, variety and character to the streetscape in a part of Harbour Road where some unsympathetic development has eroded the character of the area.

“The applicant has stressed the dilapidated state of the building, but has not demonstrated (for instance, by providing an engineer’s report) that it is incapable of repair, or that it cannot be converted to a new use.”

Scottish Borders Council’s-own heritage and design officer also objected to the application, stating: “The building is of special architectural and historic interest as an historic harbourside building, of which few survive in Eyemouth. Its fabric, form, materials and detailing contribute to this significance. Its fabric and authenticity would be lost through demolition and cannot be reinstated through reconstruction.

“It would be most appropriate for the building to be retained, repaired and brought back into use.”

The building currently provides a roosting area for pigeons as a result of the missing roof tiles.

A report submitted in support of  the application, from Berwick-upon-Tweed-based Yeoman Architecture, says: “The applicant seeks to address any potential safety issues with the building, prior to any type of small scale or larger structural collapse.

“Over time it has become clear that the building is in a slow decline, which may result in some form of collapse, therefore, taking a pragmatic approach, the applicant is seeking to make the building safe through careful demolition, then reconstruct, over the same footprint, a single, two storey dwelling house, which will be used as accommodation for members of the applicant’s staff.

“The proposal of reconstruction will afford the construction of a energy efficient, modern dwelling house, whilst using traditional materials, resulting in a dwelling which would complement and be wholly in keeping with the local area.”