Star to be reborn?

NUMBER one High Street is up for sale, eight months after flames ripped through the historic building.

The Star and Garter Hotel, built over 250 years ago, was seriously damaged last October in one of the worst fires in Linlithgow’s history, and since then has remained covered in tarpaulin with no indication of its future.

But last week ‘for sale’ signs from Christie+Co went up on the three-storey property, formerly a bar and restaurant with rear beer garden, and 15 guest bedrooms. It is being offered for sale with continued licence use, but will need a substantial investment to restore the building to its former glory.

Over the years, the hotel performed well with consistent gross turnover of around £20,000 per week.

The premises licence is still current and the business is up for sale on a freehold basis. Any alternative use for the property would be subject to planning consent. A West Lothian Council spokesperson said: “The council is closely monitoring the condition and appearance of the fire damaged listed building. No planning and listed building consent applications have been submitted to the council at the present time to allow the consideration of any rebuilding proposals. Any application for an alternative use other than a public house would have to be considered on its own merits.”

The white-wash stone built property is listed and preserved by Historic Scotland.

A spokesperson for Historic Scotland said: “We are very keen to see this important historic building brought back into use and we are in regular contact with the council to monitor its condition. Any interested parties will be offered guidance by the council on purchasing a listed property, but we would be happy to provide any conservation advice where necessary.”

An agent from Christie+Co added: “From our point of view we are fairly encouraged. We have had internet queries and some from individuals, and it’s looking fairly positive.

‘‘It will go to a purchaser with a bit of vision to take this on. We’re at fairly early stages.”

Star and Garter owner John Bartlett was unavailable for comment this week.