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Flats plan for another town centre site

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By Christie Breen
Flats plan for another town centre site

PLANS have been lodged to transform a historic Dumfries town centre property into modern new homes.

The Midsteeple Quarter (MSQ) is seeking permission from Dumfries and Galloway Council to revitalise 51 Bank Street, which has largely lain empty and in a state of disrepair for many years.

It is one of six properties owned by the community benefit society which it hopes to redevelop as part of ambitious plans to breathe new life into the town centre.

If approved, the project is expected to be the second phase of major redevelopment following the rebirth of 135-139 High Street as The Standard. That scheme, creating new homes and enterprise spaces, is on-course for completion this summer.

The transformation of the next property, occupying a prime location on the corner of Bank Street, sitting above 109 High Street, would see it turned into four flats.

Two of the homes – a two-bedroom and a four-bedroom – would be split over two storeys. The others – a one-bedroom and a three-bedroom – would each be on one floor.

It would also see paintwork removed from the front of the building, returning its original red sandstone brickwork to public view.

Midsteeple Quarter chair Peter Kormylo said: “We are incredibly excited to be looking ahead to our next phase of development and bringing another neglected building back to life.

“The vision for 51 Bank Street will create some special homes overlooking the High Street, as part of the new neighbourhood which will be the defining factor in a better, stronger town centre in which people live, as well as work and visit.”

The project would restore many of the building’s original features, blending them with leading energy-efficient sustainable property measures, including air source pumps and solar panels.

Designed by leading Dumfries-born Georgian architect Walter Newall, the Grade B-listed 51 Bank Street was built in 1827 and is thought to have once housed its designer’s office. With the support of townsfolk and others, Midsteeple Quarter took the building into community ownership in 2021.

Work is underway to secure the funds that would be needed for construction.

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