PLANS to turn a historic West End garage into a shop and 24-hour gym have been approved after almost a decade of controversy over the future of the building.

Council chiefs have approved proposals for the A-listed former Botanic Gardens Garage, owned by motoring tycoon Arnold Clark.

The Art Deco garage, in Vinicombe Street, is the oldest surviving motor garage in Glasgow and possibly the UK.

Speculation has been rife for some time that the four-storey garage complex could become home to American food retailer Whole Foods, which opened a branch in Giffnock, East Renfrewshire, in 2011.

However, a spokeswoman for the firm told the Evening Times, the takeover was, "definitely not happening."

The planning decision marks the end of years of campaigning to save the garage from partial demolition, which was part of the original plans submitted by the Arnold Clark group.

A Save the Botanic Garage campaign was launched by West End residents and community council members in the area.

In October 2007 Arnold Clark announced that they were withdrawing their application to demolish the garage, and said public opposition had played a large part in the decision.

Scottish ministers refused permission for the garage to be partially demolished in 2011 as part of a subsequent application and the building was upgraded to A-listed status.

The new plans, by Keppie Design, include space within the garage for an office unit.

A council spokesman said: "The proposals have been revised to meet concerns about impact on the character of the listed building and the conservation area.

"The council approved the application on the recommendation of council officers."

Whole Foods are said to have approached Sir Arnold's family in late 2012 about the building and, despite previous reluctance to sell or even hand over control to another company, the motoring firm is said to have agreed to work on a deal.

The landmark garage, built in Vinicombe Street between 1906-1912, was designed by David V. Wyllie. It has a distinctive façade of green and white glazed terracotta tiles and features a spiral car ramp to the upper floor.