Fast-food giant Subway has been accused of getting in a pickle by breaking planning rules with a new store.
News the franchise is set to move in to Portobello has prompted anger from residents who claim the firm – famous for its foot-long sandwiches – has not been given the go ahead to serve hot food.
Builders have moved in to the High Street store and an advert on classified site Gumtree is offering permanent contracts for budding “Sandwich Artists”.
The empty shop was formally a clothes shop and would require approval from city planning chiefs to sell hot food or provide seating.
June Robertson, who runs Favers traditional sweet shop on the High Street, branded the move a “disgrace”.
She said: “Subway have just come bulldozing their way in – there seems to be one rule for big businesses and another one for us. They’re putting toilets in and ventilation, which would indicate there’s going to be a seating area, but they don’t have permission yet. People are really hacked off about the way they have gone about it,
“I’m worried what they are doing to the building which is in a conservation area.
“Portobello is the kind of community you need to stay on the right side of or otherwise you’re doomed.”
It is understood on Friday, some residents were refusing to allow builders through a communal stair door to the rear of the building, which is within a conservation area.
A class three permit would not be required if only cold food was sold on the premises.
But many of Subway’s most popular snacks – such as the Meatball Marinara – are hot.
Portobello resident Bob Jefferson said: “Nobody wants to see the shop empty, and it was in a bit of a mess for quite a while, but I don’t think they should have barged their way in to the High Street if they don’t have the necessary planning permission.”
Subway could not be reached for comment.
A spokeswoman for the city council said: “Planning officers are investigating a complaint regarding 121 Portobello High Street.”