A RESTAURANT chain “remains committed” to taking over Helensburgh’s former municipal buildings, according to a new report.

Peckham's had been due to purchase the building, on the corner of East Princes Street and Sinclair Street, from Argyll and Bute Council.

But problems with a defective bay window led to a two-month delay in bringing the building, which has thought to have lain vacant since 1996, up to required standards.

The restaurant had been due to open last May, but the authority’s director of customer services, Douglas Hendry, says in the newly-released report that Peckhams still intend to take over the premises.

The document will go before the council’s Helensburgh and Lomond area committee on Thursday, March 21 at the town’s Civic Centre.

READ MORE: Deli and restaurant firm eyes up new use for Helensburgh building

Mr Hendry says in the report: “The property is currently under offer with Peckham's who have obtained planning permission to convert the building into a bistro and deli on the ground floors with private dining and residential accommodation on the upper floors.

“All contractual matters have been addressed to mutual satisfaction.

“In the days leading up to the previous completion date, an external crack on one of the bay windows facing Sinclair Street was given further inspection by structural engineers and was confirmed to be defective.

“The council has appointed a structural engineer, stonemason and contractor to rectify the problem and allow the sale to proceed.

“During the repair it became apparent that one of the cracks through a large piece of sandstone was larger and more irregular than first thought so was unsuitable for repair/pinning and so it had to be completely replaced.

“There was a delay of two months whilst matching sandstone was sourced, agreed with planning department and then quarried. Stonemasons returned to site in February 2019 with the new large sandstone elements and are expecting to complete the works in March or April.

“Peckham's have stated that they remain committed to delivery of this project and continue to invest heavily in design and preparation works ready for the completion date.”

Mr Hendry’s report adds that solicitors have been asked to complete missives of the sale, with the settlement date being seven days after notification of completion of work.

The document also contains details of work which is scheduled to take place at the adjoining premises at 52 Sinclair Street.

READ MORE: Delay to restaurant plans at Burgh's municipal buildings

Mr Hendry added: “The council owns a number of commercial and residential properties from the Co-op to Municipal Buildings on Sinclair Street.

“We are working with the residents association for this block to agree a programme of common repairs to the roof, stairwell and rainwater goods.

“There is likely to be a requirement to restrict access to the pavement whilst certain works are ongoing. Works are likely to commence in spring/summer 2019.”

Peckham's has been contacted at the email address listed on its website for comment.

* The plans for a Helensburgh restaurant under the Peckham's brand are totally unconnected to the purchase, and subsequent closure, of the two Peckham's delicatessens in Glasgow's west end by two Helensburgh businessmen.

The Peckham's stores in the city's Byres Road and Hyndland Road were purchased by Andrew Duncan and Lee Fish in June 2017.

But the two premises closed down in August 2018, with the owners stating that the withdrawal of planned new investment from a third party had left them with no option.

Tony Johnston, founder of the Peckham's brand, said in 2017 that the Glasgow sites' sale would allow him to concentrate on new ventures such as the one in Helensburgh.

READ MORE: Peckham's Helensburgh plans 'still on course' after local duo buy Glasgow premises