PLANS have been unveiled to turn a former women's clothing shop in Irvine town centre into a restaurant and gym.

The vacant unit in High Street, next to Semi Chem, was previously home to the Happit store and had been listed for sale in January for offers over £250,000 - however, the asking price was later lowered to £195,000.

According to the listing, an application had been made and was pending for change of use permission to a class 3 restaurant and takeaway.

Now, applicants Sava Estates have submitted proposals to North Ayrshire Council to convert the vacant retail premises into a restaurant with a function suite and fitness gym.

A supporting statement said: "The property at 124 High Street is a two-storey flat-roofed property of little architectural merit.

"It has a particularly deep footprint and extends backwards for some distance to a service road and yard at the rear.

"While the building has a ground and upper floor it is curious in that there is a two-storey section at the front with a single-storey connecting to another two-storey structure at the rear.

"Previously occupied by a women's fashion shop, the property has been vacant for some time."

The proposed development will see the entire building redeveloped to incorporate a restaurant over two floors at the front, and a gymnasium over two floors at the rear.

The main restaurant will occupy the ground floor while the upper floor will feature a function room.

The gym will feature class/fitness rooms with male and female changing/locker facilities on the ground floor while the upper floor will be the location for a range of training and fitness equipment.

The application stated: "Access to the restaurant will continue to be via the existing doorway direct off of the High Street, while access to the gymnasium will be from the rear parking yard.

"The proposed development will ensure that the main frontage onto the High Street will contribute to the vitality and vibrancy of the [town] centre while the gymnasium will ensure that a part of the building which might reasonably have been expected to remain vacant, will also be in productive use."

Opening hours are anticipated to be Sunday to Thursday, 10am-11pm and Friday and Saturday, 10am-midnight.

The supporting document added: "The change of use of this vacant unit will introduce a new eating experience to the town and will help to animate this stretch of street, particularly in the evenings and winter months when the splay of light from the premises will help to enliven the street and along with the extra pedestrian activity, deliver a sense of safety, security and wellbeing.

"This new development will contribute to the sense of place, in providing a venue to wine and dine, to meet and to foster community spirit, as well as a centrally located quality gymnasium, ensuring that the entire property is recycled for the common good."

To view the plans in more detail, search the reference code 23/00088/PP at North Ayrshire Council's online planning portal.