Edinburgh restaurants: Owners of popular Leith restaurant Sabzi hit out at council after later opening refused

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Award-winning Edinburgh restaurant which featured on TV has branded refusal of late licence ‘disgusting’.

Owners of a popular Leith restaurant have hit out at the council after their appeal to be granted late opening hours has been knocked back. The Singh family, who run vibrant Ferry Road eatery Sabzi, applied to extend its hours from 8pm to 11pm – after being rejected when they first applied more than two years ago. But the council's planning committee denied the variation to its planning conditions.

Their application was refused on grounds of "potential nuisance" along with concerns about noise and smells affecting neighbouring residents.

An appeal made to the Scottish Government was dismissed.

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Sabzi owners the Singh familySabzi owners the Singh family
Sabzi owners the Singh family

Stevie, who runs Sabzi with his mum, dad and brothers, said the refusal is ‘disgusting’. It’s claimed planners told him the business wasn’t suited for the area. He said: "Edinburgh council talked about helping and supporting local businesses during the pandemic but have decided to favour a group of narrow minded neighbours and residents in the area. The decision is stopping the growth of a local family run business. The council continues to support other small businesses in the area. Seems very selective. We’ve worked hard to create a community hub.

“There are neighbours that monitor our activity by taking pictures and video recording the activity after 8pm. It’s been reported to the police on multiple occasions but they didn't do anything about it. Complaints of noise are void. We’re situated on one of Edinburgh's busiest roads. Our background music is background for a reason. Our customers are very respectful of our neighbours. Smell isn't an issue as we had a commercial hooded fan fitted that does a great job. It was passed by the council for smell, noise and vibration. Planners told us on a visit that our business maybe isn’t suited for the area. It’s an absolute shambles and disgusting behaviour from the council.”

During a public consultation 33 objections were lodged while 428 supported the application. Among the concerns were claims of illegal and dangerous parking and loading due to double yellow lines at a junction which is used as parking by takeaway customers. Others said extending the opening hours would pave the way for increased commercial activity and claimed this would undermine the residential character of the Victoria Park Conservation Area.

The council said they were aware of the decision by the Scottish Government’s Planning and Appeal Division.

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