It was one of the most popular outdoor drinking and live music spots during the summer, but now calls of ‘snobbery’ are being aimed at the council after a permission for a bar in a section of the Festive Village on the roof of Waverley Mall has been turned down for “lowering the tone”.
Revellers have hit out at councillors who denied planning permission for Malones on the Mall to operate throughout the festive period despite attracting thousands to the pop-up venue over the summer.
The proposal for a temporary Festival Village from mid-November to mid-January included four separate areas included the Irish-themed bar with live music stage and pizza grill, a Fizz and Pearl Champagne Bar, “Butcher Bay” grilled food area and a beer garden.
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Planning officers supported the application stating it is “an appropriate temporary commercial development which will be in situ only during the summer festivals and Edinburgh’s Christmas. It will contribute to the role of the city as a strategic business and regional shopping centre”.
“The proposal represents an appropriate commercial scheme which will contribute to the character, attractiveness, vitality and accessibility of the city centre, will not result in a permanent unacceptable loss of open space; and which will not have a detrimental impact on the amenity of neighbouring residents, the setting of nearby listed buildings or the Local Nature Conservation Site”.
But Cllr Joanna Mowatt moved to have the plans thrown out saying that granting approval for the bar section would be “a risk” and a “sustained series of complaints” relating to noise result in “lowering the tone of the area”.
The committee reached a “split decision” granting planning permission for three areas of the Festival Village and blocking the temporary build of Malones on the Mall.
Developers of the Festival Village had already amended an original plan to satisfy concerns over noise pollution by removing an additional live music area, “Malones Live Stage Area”, from the proposal.
A Festival Village spokesman: “We live in a multicultural society and Edinburgh is desired as a European destination of choice.
“Festival Village offers leisure via the form of music, entertainment, food and bars throughout the course of the summer and winter months.”
The extra stages were planned for an area at the southern edge of the site and would have included two bars a bespoke bar canopy and live music stage canopy structure.
Musician Steve Morrisson said key Edinburgh needs key music venues like Malones. He said: “Festival village located on Waverley Mall has played a strong role within the music scene of Edinburgh and surrounding areas, providing a platform for local talent to reach new audiences on a vast scale. The industry is failing large spectrums of artists and creatives, Festival Village plays a huge part in the foundation building process for local talent to develop and progress – through platforms such as being involved in far reaching press articles and social media content, as well as the local audiences on site.”