Council chiefs have tried to track down the former Burns bar boss, believed to be in India with £1,500 of licensing fees unpaid.

The premises licence of Mandeep Kaur has now lapsed, North Ayrshire’s licensing board heard last week, with new owners having been unable to operate while it was still in place.

Plans were approved back in May to transform the much-missed dance venue into seven flats with a downstairs takeaway bar restaurant.

A spokesperson for North Ayrshire Council said: “Despite a number of attempts to contact the Premises Licence Holder for Burns Tavern, no response was received.

“North Ayrshire Licensing Board therefore noted that the licence has now lapsed by operation of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005.

“As such, it is now open to the new owner, or a permitted occupier, to apply for a premises licence.”

Burns bar

Burns bar

Meeting papers state: “According to the board’s records there is a premises licence for these premises, held by Mrs Mandeep Kaur. The premises ceased trading in 2018 and have not been occupied since.

“The annual fees of £500 due in October 2019, 2020 and 2021 remain unpaid. The board staff have tried to contact the premises licence holder but the premises licence holder no longer lives at the only address in Scotland they have. A relative of the premises licence holder lives there. The relative told board staff that both the premises licence holder and her husband had gone to live in India and had not returned to Scotland. The Board have no forwarding address.

The Times previously reported the three-story building was snapped up at auction for £105,000 reduced from £425,000.

New owner Mohammed Akhtar plans to turn the licensed public house into seven housing units in total over the two floors.

The ground floor area will be remodelled for a restaurant, bar and hot food take away.