Plans for North Berwick upmarket fish and chip shop rejected over parking fears

PLANS to open a new upmarket fish and chip shop in a seaside town have been rejected amid fears over customer parking.

Thursday, 16th May 2019, 7:44 pm
Alandas Sea food

Award-winning East Lothian business Alandas wanted to open a new seafood eatery in North Berwick town centre, on the same street where they already have an ice-cream parlour.

However planning officials at East Lothian Council rejected their application, citing concerns that customers would park on double yellow lines outside the new business.

Members of the review body unanimously rejected the appeal after they were told council policies for town centres required them to consider the impact of a new business on traffic management.

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The popular cafe has netted a string of awards since opening on Quality Street and sought permission to open a second outlet in the area in a disused office building owned by the local authority.

Representatives from the firm told the review body that negotiations to lease the building from the local authority were already underway.

They even presented the review body with a sample menu of the types of food they planned to serve from grilled seafood to lobster rolls.

East Lothian Council’s planners said they believed “the proposed hot food takeaway use would be likely to lead to irresponsible parking and waiting outside the premises, including on double yellow lines, on the foot way or double parking”.

Despite backing council officers, cllr Fiona O’Donnell said she found the decision difficult.

She said: “I do not think businesses are responsible for parking behaviour – I think drivers make the choice to park badly.”

However, agents for Alandas argued that there was plenty of on-street parking nearby, adding that while they were confident the business would be successful, they did not anticipate people travelling to the town just to visit it.

The decision comes just weeks after the seaside town was named one of the most desirable coastal areas of the country to live, beatimng competition from St Andrews, Anstruther and Dalgety Bay in Fife, Inverkip, Helensburgh and popular Highland holiday destination Nairn.

Alandas, who also operate a pop-up in the Capital during the festival, recently saw their Prestonpans outlet named the best chippie in Scotland by a leading tourist guide.

The popular fish and chip shop, which has operated in the town for almost 30 years, was praised by Scotland The Best author Pete Irvine for its hearty portions of fish and chips and “supreme” ice cream.

Backing the view of officers, Councillor Sue Kempson said: “Although the takeaway business would not cause bad driver behaviour, it is a consequence of takeaways that cause bad driver behaviour.

“I am not inclined to support it.”

The view was backed by fellow review body members Councillors John Williamson and John McMillan.