A PUB in Greenock looks set to reopen despite concerns from police and a local landlord.

The owners of The Thistle Bar in Lynedoch Street have been given the green light to trade by Inverclyde Licensing Board.

The pub closed down last December and was put up for sale for around £70,000 earlier this year.

Board members unanimously approved a provisional premises licence for the pub even though concerns were raised about the application from GKOK Ltd.

Police Scotland did not formally object to the permit being granted but submitted a letter to the board highlighting that a 'connected person' - a company director who has since resigned - has a drugs conviction from 2015.

No other issues were raised by the authorities.

An objection was lodged by a Bedfordshire-based landlord who owns nearby flats, citing safety and anti-social behaviour grounds.

He claimed drug use and petty vandalism were 'evident' in the area and that granting the licence would lead to increased security costs to protect tenants - on top of a 'significant' amount already spent on improving his properties.

Board chairman Ronnie Ahlfeld acknowledged the concerns but said the matter raised by the police in particular was more of an 'observation' than an objection - something accepted by the licensing officer present, who conceded it was a 'representation'.

Lawyer Seamus Lamb, from Maitlands Solicitors, on behalf of GKOK, said there were no issues with the previous tenants.

He added that the bar would be operated in a similar, responsible manner, and stated that a 'suitably qualified' premises manager and door steward will be appointed.

The pub is also to be refurbished internally.

Mr Lamb said: "The Thistle Bar is or was a licensed public house for as long as I can remember - for many, many years.

"The operating plan is identical to the previous one.

"It's effectively a licence to reinstate a community pub. "This is not going to be a buzzing entertainment venue, this is going to be a pub.

"I submit that if my clients run this properly, it will thrive and if they don't they will feel the full wrath of the licensing committee."

Councillors were told that the application was within policy and, following a hearing in private, they unanimously agreed to grant the provisional licence.

Mr Ahlfeld said: "The board was pleased with the undertaking given by Mr Lamb regarding future management of the premises, which was very welcome."

A full licence will be required before the pub can reopen.