A rooftop outdoor bar and live music venue previously on top of Waverley Mall has been refused permission to set up in time for Christmas.
Malones on the Mall, a pop-up with bar with pizza grill and stage was a popular city centre venue during the summer and had planned to resurrect the festival fun as part of a pop-up “Village” this winter.
But councillors at today’s Development Management Sub-Committee voted 8-3 against the recommendation by city planners to grant permission stating the venue had drawn substantial complaints in the past and it was not in keeping with the local area.
Set within the UNESCO World Heritage Site and New Town Conservation Area, local councillor Joanna Mowatt said granting permission for the corner site proposed for occupation by Malones on the Mall would be a risk the city should not take.
She said whilst the form of the bar was different than its previous incarnation, it was not appropriate within the heritage site and was a huge potential risk for noise pollution.
“I know planners have taken consultation from the Environmental Services but I am not sure I want to take a risk with a repeat of that because this was a very, very in your face usage of that site.
Now there is traditionally since that site has been used in ten years as councillor I don’t think I’ve had anything more than a gurn about why there’s a commercial use there.
But there was a sustained series of complaints from residents, the community council wrote in to complain, hotel visitors to Edinburgh to people using these offices as well as constantly from councillors and members of council staff saying “why are we allowing this? I am embarrassed to see this here, it is lowering the tone of the area”.”
The application for planning permission included three other areas on the roof of Waverley Mall including an outdoor seating area, a champagne, gin and seafood bar and “Butcher Bay” serving grilled food – all were approved for temporary construction by the committee.
Bosses behind the Malones of the Mall venture have already advertised the re-opening of the bar on their website ahead of the planning meeting and have begun to recruit staff. Work has also already started to build the bar and stage on Waverley roof.