Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Local amenity diminished

Well, sadly the restaurant application for Dundee Street was approved earlier this morning - I hear the request for a site-visit was defeated by 7 votes to 6?

... not great when a request for a mere site-visit is defeated by one vote :-(

The application report can be found here - and my main point of contention is with the top of page 3 where the report says:

"The concentration of similar uses in this area is not deemed to be excessive with only three of the nine units on the frontage to be occupied by a restaurant or a takeaway. The proposed location is therefore in accordance with Central Edinburgh Local Plan Policy L2, finalised Edinburgh City Local Plan Policy Ret 12, and nonstatutory guidance on Restaurants, Cafes and Hot Food Shops."

But just above (in the same paragraph) it acknowledges that "other restaurants and takeaways are close by" --- well, there are actually numerous other such establishments in the adjoining tenement blocks, and across the road at the Fountainbridge Cinema complex.

The report goes on to justify granting the application by mention of 'Policy Ret 12' --- the full text of which says (see page 30 here):

Policy Ret 12

The change of use of a shop unit or other premises to a licensed or unlicensed restaurant, café, pub, or shop selling hot food for consumption off the premises (hot food take-away) will not be permitted:

a) if likely to lead to an unacceptable increase in noise, disturbance, on-street activity or anti-social behaviour to the detriment of living conditions for nearby residents or

b) in an area where there is considered to be an excessive concentration of such uses to the detriment of living conditions for nearby residents.

Frankly, I think granting of this application breaks both a) and b) above - and at the very least, I believe the Committee should have agreed a site-visit to see for themselves the over-concentration of 'restaurant/takeaway' establishments in the immediate area?

Really not a great decision to reject that request by one vote :-(

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