AMBITIOUS plans could see a former hotel and pub transformed into shops and housing.

New life could be breathed into the former Dolphin Hotel, on Dunbar’s Queens Road, under proposals submitted to East Lothian Council.

The ground floor, which is made up of an old bar area and lounge, has lain empty for more than four years.

The first and second floors, formerly hotel accommodation, have not been used for almost 40 years.

Proposals, from David Paton Building Consultancy and Dunbar Trout Farm Ltd, highlight various issues with the property.

The design and access statement reads: “There are currently various areas within the first and second floor of this building that are seriously affected by dry-rot and are unsafe.”

Developers noted there was no history of planning applications for the building and it was possible there was no demand for the building to remain as a hotel due to the various other hotels in the area.

Two shops would be created on the ground floor, with four flats on the floors above.

It is currently not known what shops would be based in the building but a spokesman for the scheme said: “I don’t know who might be interested but it is a place with good footfall for those walking from the town back to the east of Dunbar, which is growing quite considerably.”

An external spiral escape stair would be attached to the outside of the building to link to the residential properties.

The document reads: “It is considered that this style of stair, being of lightweight form and contemporary appearance, along with its infrequent use, would cause minimum impact to the neighbours on Church Street.

“There are four flats proposed in order to make this development viable to our client. New windows are proposed to be formed in the gable walls to create dual aspect living spaces. The two flats on the north-east elevation in particular would benefit from proposed triple windows to maximise the sea view.”

No area of parking is included on-site, with parking to be on-street.

The developers finish off the report: “Our proposal offers the opportunity to create a modern residential building whilst retaining an active street frontage in the town centre and in doing so hopefully enabling The Dolphin Inn building to be saved from ruin.”

Stephen Bunyan, chairman of the town’s community council, was pleased to see plans submitted to potentially see the property brought back to life.

He added: “I think it has been out of business for so long that I would be happy to see it developed for something.”