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Major step taken in saving iconic former hospital in Paisley as flats plan approved for historic site

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A major step has been taken in saving an architectural gem in Paisley after plans for a multi-million-pound redevelopment were given the go ahead.The B-listed former Royal Alexandra Infirmary (RAI) and its grounds look set to be brought back to life in the form of 81 one and two-bedroom flats after proposals were approved earlier this week.

The heritage treasure between Calside and Neilston Road, which was ravaged by a fire in 2022, has been a long-running source of anguish for neighbours and councillors after becoming a target for vandals and ghost hunters.But the red sandstone building has now landed a lifeline after applications for the relevant permissions were rubber-stamped at the planning and climate change policy board on Tuesday.

Councillor Bruce MacFarlane, an SNP representative for Paisley Southeast, said: "I welcome the report being brought forward."It's good to see, hopefully, the maintaining of one of the important buildings in Paisley.

I know there's been a lot of campaigning in trying to save the building, so I'm delighted the report has come forward."Wellwood Leslie, architects working on behalf of the applicant, released a blueprint last summer outlining a £15 million project to transform the original infirmary into 45 flats and build two additional blocks of flats with a combined 36 units on the land.Graham Stuart, a partner of the company, said in July the building was "perilously close" to falling into a "ruinous state" after years of vandalism, fires and adverse weather.

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