WORK on converting the former Blenheim House Hotel in North Berwick will not begin till next year.

The disused former hotel, on the town’s Westgate, will be converted into four three-bedroom apartments after planning permission granted by East Lothian Council in February.

An image of how the building will look has just been made public (see right).

The building, bought by Matthew Atton in 2012, has fallen into disrepair, and has been described as an “eyesore” by members of North Berwick Community Council.

When Mr Atton originally bought the building, he hoped to redevelop it into a luxury hotel for touring golfers, and to use a flat-roofed building to the rear of the hotel as his family home.

However, those plans were rejected by East Lothian Council, and the building has since fallen into disrepair.

Mr Atton failed to find a buyer for the Blenheim to continue as a hotel.

Under the plans put forward by Edinburgh-based architects LBA, a new second-storey extension will be added to the building to create the new luxury apartments.

Two of the four apartments will be located within the original B-listed building and will have many of the traditional period features such as large rooms, original cornicing, sash and case windows and fireplaces.

Emily Anderson, project architect for LBA, said: “When working with listed period buildings, our design philosophy is to clearly and truthfully define the old and the new.

“The challenge with developments like [the former Blenheim at] Westgate is creating a balance between the careful repair and refurbishment of such an ornate and materially rich building with the new sharp yet subtle contemporary build element.

“This new build aspect should always remain appropriate and sympathetic to the building’s heritage and historical context.

“We have embraced the building’s location within a conservation area within North Berwick and ensured that our designs are sympathetic to its context using materials identifiable within the area, such as weathered timbers and mattified metals that tone beautifully with the backdrop of the water and lichened stone facades of the neighbouring properties.”

Work will not begin until early 2018 as LBA are applying for a building warrant and this is understood to be a six-month process. It is hoped that the work will be completed by winter 2018.