PLANS to turn the old Dunfermline Post Office into a restaurant have been given the stamp of approval.

City Hotels Ltd have been given listed building consent to make internal and external alterations to form a restaurant in the historic building on Queen Anne Street, which has been closed for more than three years.

The plans include dining for 180 people and a further 50 outside in a garden courtyard area, which will have a retractable roof.

City Hotels have stated previously that the venue would create 30 jobs.

Drawings were submitted which showed a large extraction flue on the roof plane facing the bus station which would serve a pizza kitchen within the single-storey courtyard building.

However, the agent was advised that this would not be acceptable in terms of its impact on the historic character of the listed building and the surrounding conservation area. As a result, the pizza kitchen and extraction flue were removed from the proposal.

There will also be a private dining room while the toilets, staff room and manager’s office would be on the first floor.

The building dates back to the 19th century and a decision to close Dunfermline Post Office was made in October 2016 after a six-week public consultation and review.

Services moved to WH Smith on High Street in March 2017, with the building vacant from then on.

We broke the news in October last year that it had been bought by the City Hotel Group.

Historic Environment Scotland was consulted and they had no objections to the proposal, saying it would provide a "new use for the B-listed building without causing significant harm".

A planning statement read: "The proposal is considered acceptable in meeting the terms of national guidance and the Development Plan and is compatible in terms of its impact on the special character and fabric of the listed building.

"The proposal is approved subject to conditions relating to the submission of external finishing materials.

"The proposal would, therefore, have no significant detrimental visual impact on the historic character of this Category B-listed building or the surrounding Dunfermline conservation area."

The specification and colour of all proposed external finishes must be submitted to, and approved in writing by, Fife Council before any work can begin.

A spokesperson for the City Hotel group stated previously: “As an active company in the leisure market in and around Dunfermline, we already successfully operate a wide range of facilities, including the City Hotel in Dunfermline and the Adamson Hotel in Crossford, both of which we have invested heavily in upgrading.

“Our experience has shown us that patrons appreciate the improved quality of what we now provide, and we see a similar opportunity for the magnificent post office building to complement what we already offer.

“We are of the opinion that having a facility providing good-quality food and drink, as well as accommodation for tourists who are coming to Dunfermline in greater numbers, would be a fitting use for this old building.”