Controversial Edinburgh takeaway plan could still be scuppered despite planning approval, claims MSP
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Lothian Tory MSP Sue Webber, who is also a councillor for Pentland Hills, said she did not believe the developer behind the plans to build the takeaway as an extension to the former RBS drive-through bank on Lanark Road – now a funeral director’s – would be able to meet planning conditions on parking.
The council had refused permission for the takeaway, against the advice of planning officials, after concerns were expressed about lack of parking for both customers and delivery drivers.
But an appeal by Redan Property Investments Ltd to the Scottish Government was upheld and permission granted.
Juniper Green and Baberton Mains community council said the takeaway had been applied for and refused and then appealed three times.
Their newsletter said: “For years we have successfully campaigned against a proposal to build a takeaway alongside the old RBS branch on Lanark Road. But in its wisdom the government has decided to overturn the decisions of the city council and ignore the will of the local community. It makes you wonder what the point is of local communities engaging in the planning process when a developer can simply appeal and escalate until they finally get the outcome they want.”
The community council argued there were already seven hot food outlets within 200 yards of the site, there was not enough parking and the new building was out of character in the conservation area.
In his decision, the planning reporter said he did not judge there to be an “excessive concentration” of takeaway businesses in the area and he was also satisfied over parking. “Coupled with the dedicated off-street parking proposed within the development site, I am satisfied there is sufficient on-street parking in the neighbourhood to cater for the short visits expected by visitors to a takeaway.”
However, one of the conditions attached to the planning approval is that details of on-site parking must be approved by the council before work starts.
Ms Webber, who backed local objectors to the takeaway, said: "The conditions say he can’t proceed until he can provide adequate parking – and that’s the whole point of our argument from the outset. This is on a main road, with a bus stop, double yellow lines and on a route to a school. There is no way he can provide safe parking.
“I’m hoping the council will refuse it on that. I don’t believe they can safely provide evidence of the parking required for that facility to be there.”
A spokesman for Redan Property Investments welcomed the appeal decision said he could see no reasons why the development should not now go ahead. “It fits with planning policy. Three times the planning department has recommended approval and it was councillors who refused it.”
He said the firm had submitted a parking study to planning officials and they had accepted it.
A council spokesperson said: “We note the decision of the reporter and will work with the applicant when they submit their plans for parking.”