Development plans submitted for former Murdo MacLean’s shop in Stornoway
A planning application to develop and renovate the former Murdo MacLean’s shop in Stornoway has been submitted to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.
The proposals would see the creation of a ground floor retail unit with a first floor restaurant and cafe area, and five one-bedroom flats over the first and second floors.
The development would include the demolition of the currently unused shop at 18b Kenneth Street – a former religious bookshop and vets practice – at the rear of the property, and is the work of local Stornoway company, Wifiis Ltd, owned by Graham McLellan.
The site of the development is part of the Stornoway Conservation Area, and the plans could see a new entrance being created at the front of the building giving access to the new second floor flats, with the remainder of the front being repaired and restored.
The original painted Murdo MacLean’s sign is also set to be restored and retained as part of the plan, as one of the few remaining examples of the style of signage in the town.
The demolition of the property at 18b Kenneth Street would, according to developers, enable the currently shared vehicle access to the rear of the property to be divided so that the rear yard area of the neighbouring chemist shop on Cromwell Street can be accessed and secured separately.
In its planning documents, the developer states that the old shop premises on Kenneth Street has lain empty for 17 years and has no live power supply or sanitary facilities with ‘no foreseeable future use that would justify its retention’.
The current vehicle gate to the yard at the rear must be locked overnight and at weekends for security reasons related to the chemist shop, according to the planning proposal, and the planned alterations would give new separate access to the MacLeans development.