LAST orders may have been called for the final time at an historic Haddington pub.

The Gardeners Arms closed its doors nearly five years ago and plans are now with East Lothian Council to breathe new life into the site.

Previous proposals to create three homes were thrown out amid concerns over losing a ground-floor commercial premises in the town centre.

Documents contained with Mr Derek McKenzie’s new planning application state that the reasons for refusal have been taken on board.

The revised plans show space on the ground floor for a business, and two two-bedroom flats over the first and second floors.

The supporting statement reads: “Previous planning comments and recommendations relating to 11 Kilpair Street have been taken on board, and the proposed development has addressed all concerns.

“The utmost care has been taken to retain and enhance the existing historical charter of the building, with the ambition to revitalise this area of Haddington town centre.

“The property has been vacant for almost five years with very little market interest in its current state.

“The climate in the commercial market has not been good for some time and will become even more difficult based on the current economic situation the UK is facing.”

Under the proposals, the mezzanine level and rear escape stair will be removed.

The developers note that work needs to be done to ensure the building has a future.

The planning application marks the ground floor for class two – financial, professional and other services – use.

The developers note that the commercial space will be developed as “shell and core only”, allowing any potential tenant to fit the space to suit their needs.

The supporting statement adds: “An alternative use for the property needs to be found if it is not to fall into disrepair – the proposed residential use is a viable option in the area, complementing the neighbouring properties.

“More and more properties in town and city centres are being given up to residential use to bring life back to them and help sustain existing business outlets that have managed to keep trading.”

The name for the pub dates back hundreds of years, as The Fraternity of Gardeners of East Lothian was once based in the town.

They purchased a property on a corner of Market Street which contained an inn, which is still known as the Gardeners Arms.

The document highlights the importance of the mural on the front of the building.

It reads: “The large mural on the first floor depicting the square, compasses and pruning knife has historical importance to Haddington’s civic past.

“The mural is to be retained as part of the development. It contributes positively to the Haddington Conservation Area and is significant to the category B listed building.”