Lib Dem Centre Citi Barrett Lib Dem Centre

Councillor believes flats on upper levels are the future for Perth as Debenhams building remains empty

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The days of Perth ’s multi-floored commercial buildings are past and using upper floors for flats is the way forward, reckons councillor Peter Barrett.

The Perth City Centre Lib Dem councillor was asked how he felt about the continued vacancy of Debenhams in Perth High Street.

Last week, a bright new cafe, Bob and Berts, opened nearby at street level and the new start only draws further attention to the emptiness that sits opposite.The former Debenhams unit, which closed permanently last year, remains vacant.Cllr Barrett feels “creativity” and “imagination” is required to ensure a large building of this type is put back into use for the benefit of the local community.“Our approach to ensuring that the High Street and city centre are vibrant attractive places requires creativity, imagination and resource,” he explained to the Perthshire Advertiser.“The Debenhams building is a case in point and, like the former McEwen's and Lakeland buildings, large multi-floor retail use is not a likely option.“Mixed use, combining suitably sized ground floor commercial or retail units with residential accommodation on the upper floors has more potential.“It will also bring more people into the city centre and therefore more customers.“When you look at how the improvements to St Paul’s has kick-started improvements to the surrounding shops and investment in neighbouring commercial office space, you can see an example of what can be achieved.”Cllr Barrett was pleased to see coffee and food chain Bob and Berts take on a High Street unit.“I haven’t been in yet, but it is great to see Bob and Berts occupying a prominent position and important intersection of the High Street which I hope will help drive footfall in the city centre,” Cllr

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