High street restaurant development plans rejected

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Perth and Kinross Council planning department have refused a planning proposal application submitted by J And E Shepherd due to potential noise generating activities and odour as the applicant failed to demonstrate that potential noise generating activities would not detrimentally impact residential amenity.

If approved, the former HSBC bank branch would have been filled with a restaurant, meeting space for colleagues to meet and storage facilities.

The rejection letter says: “The proposal is contrary to the Perth and Kinross Local Development Plan 2 2019, Policy 10 City, Town and Neighbourhood Centres criteria (c) in that insufficient information has been submitted to demonstrate that potential noise generating activities and external plant would not detrimentally impact residential amenity and that the position/height of the flue would detrimentally impact residential amenity in terms of odour.

The proposal is contrary to the Perth and Kinross Local Development Plan 2 2019, Policy 56 Noise in that insufficient information has been submitted in relation to the external plant to demonstrate that potential noise generating activities would not detrimentally impact residential amenity.”

In summary, the report recommends refusal of the application as the development is considered to be contrary to the relevant provisions of the Development Plan and there are no material considerations apparent which justify setting aside the Development Plan, Perth and Kinross Council said.

A petition signed by 10 people out of 65, was submitted in protest to the application, on the same reasons mentioned above.

The signed objection letter said: “Our objection is based on the fact that the applicants have chosen a position for the extraction flue which shows no consideration for the amenity of the occupiers of adjacent residential properties.

“If approved in the manner shown on the submitted drawings, particular detriment will be caused to all of the rear-facing buildings. The detriment will occur in terms of noise, fumes and odours from the restaurant kitchen.

“The position shown is directly opposite and within a few feet of a large existing flue attached to our building and belonging to Monterey Jack’s restaurant. The last thing we want is a compounding of the problem by this proposal.

“We therefore request that the application be refused or deferred to allow the applicant to bring forward alternative proposals for the ventilation system.”

You can read the petition letter in full by clicking here.

Hollie Irvine, chief editor at ScotLife reacted to the news with the tweet below.

Hollie Irvine said: “I am extremely frustrated to find out that Perth & Kinross council have denied the application for a new premises on the high street. The proposed business was a three storey multi-purpose space with a restaurant, two function rooms and a meeting space. The plans to look promising and add a much needed boost to our High street at a time when we are desperately searching to find ways to bring people into our city centre.

“Some locals may argue that we have too many eateries in the city centre. However, the proposed business was to be on the High Street, which is lacking in late night eateries, meeting space and function rooms. Function rooms play an important role in our city centre, and are pivotal to our creative industries and evening entertainment scene. I am also completely unaware of any late night meeting space in the city centre that has food and a function room in the same building.

“The idea is innovative for our High Street and the plans have taken into consideration our current economic situation and how the space can be best used for more than one purpose. The rejection of these plans was due to a petition. There were 65 local residents and tenants who were notified about the new business, only 10 signed the petition. That’s 15% – that’s just not good enough. I also call into question the legitimacy of the petition itself. Both letters of objection were exactly the same bar one paragraph. Several names on the petition were also written by the same person. I suspect these objections were orchestrated or glossed to stop this business moving forward.

“The other reason that was given by the local authority is the fact that it is not in line with their 2019 local development plan. Considering how much has happened since 2019 – the pandemic, cost of living crisis, changes in local government and leadership amongst many others I do not believe our council should be basing any decision on plans made in 2019.

“They are completely out of date and not representative of the current situation we are in. I suspect the main reason this business was not granted permission is due to the function rooms and the premises looking to stay open until 11 pm. It is unheard of for Perth High Street to have a business like this. Somewhere for people to congregate later at night either eating or meeting. Regardless, these planning rules and policies are completely archaic.

“Basing a decision on 15% of affected residents and an outdated and unrepresentative local development plan is absolutely the wrong thing to do. We need to be doing everything we can to promote business in our city centre, people who come to dine during the day will also want to shop. Those who come late at night will appreciate the vibrancy that this sort of new business can offer and want to come back again during the day. Yes we may have too many restaurants but I would rather look at 100 restaurants than look at 1 empty building.

“This wasn’t just an offering of an eatery, it was also an offering of new spaces to use, to meet, to congregate and that is something we do need in Perth. I for one would love a meeting space that is attached to a restaurant on the High Street. Not to mention this is another business that can offer employment to our local residents. This is the complete opposite of what we need to be doing right now.

“We need to put processes in place to find solutions to these problems so that everyone is happy and we can add different amenities to our High Street that suit both younger and older people. I hope to see this planning application re-looked at by the leaders of Perth & Kinross Council in a fair and representative manner, without letting an outdated and old fashioned view of our city centre get in the way.”

To view the planning application, please click here.

Should Perth and Kinross Council review their Local Development Plan 2 2019 policy now that we’re in 2022? Add your comments below.

Perth Gazette