A CONSERVATIVE MSP is bidding to open an East Lothian constituency office in a former charity shop.

Craig Hoy has applied for permission to change the use of the former Sue Ryder shop in Haddington into offices so he can set up the base.

Mr Hoy, who is also a serving East Lothian councillor, was elected as a South Scotland MSP in the elections in May.

Sue Ryder closed all its shops at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March last year and the Haddington branch, on Market Street, has not reopened.

In August, plans to turn the shop into a nail salon were shelved and the property remains empty.

Mr Hoy said that he applied for a change of use after holding talks with the council’s planning officers, who felt that, given his constituency office should be visible and publicly accessible, it would be appropriate.

East Lothian Council’s town centre policy supports changes of use between shops, businesses and offices.

The changes proposed to the inside of the shop would see it maintain a staff room at the rear but create an open office space in the main shop floor, as well as a separate office and meeting room.

The proposal can be viewed on East Lothian Council’s planning portal.