Future of city hall lies in council's hands
PERTH city hall will be marketed to developers if proposals for determining the future of the building are approved by the council next week.
A report going before councillors outlines that Historic Scotland, on behalf of Scottish Ministers, refused consent for the demolition of the building on the grounds that there may be options for re-using the building, or perserving elements of special interest, that are still to be explored.
Perth & Kinross Council had sought to demolish the building and create a civic square, on the basis that this would deliver significant benefits to economic growth, that public consultation had shown this to be the preferred option for City Hall, and that development of the building for re-use had previously proven to be unsuccessful.
Councillor Ian Miller, Leader of Perth & Kinross Council, said:
"Our priority is to secure the option for the future of Perth City Hall that best supports the local economy and wider community, and in as reasonable a timescale as possible.
"Perth City Hall occupies a key location in the centre of Perth. Given the difficult economic climate, and the opportunities our new city status brings, it is vital that the use of this location benefits residents, visitors and our economy.
"Perth City Hall is a building that inspires strong feelings. A universally popular option for its future may very well not be possible. I believe however that most people want the right solution to be reached, and the future of the City Hall to be confirmed, as soon as is feasible and that is what this report is about.
"I welcome the report coming before Council so swiftly after Historic Scotland's decision, and I look forward to considering the proposals."
The report proposes that, in order to assess unexplored options, the building is marketed for 3 months with a further period of 9 months to allow prospective developers to demonstrate the viability, economic benefits and funding of any development proposals.
Councillors are also asked to accept the offer by Historic Scotland to work with council officers and to give advice on any proposals that come forward.
Ian Miller added: "We are keen to work with Historic Scotland and welcome their invitation for continued involvement in progressing our work from here."
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