Bid to turn Southside cafe into Thai takeaway rejected by Glasgow council

A Southside cafe cannot be turned into a Thai takeaway after a developer’s appeal was thrown out by councillors.

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Council planners had rejected a bid to turn premises at Boyd Street into a hot food takeaway, with a seating area, but the applicant, 4 Square Property Ltd, called for the decision to be reviewed.

They argued the venue would “add value to the surrounding neighbourhood”, with a new tenant serving “high-end Thai cuisine”. However, councillors on the city’s planning local review committee have upheld the original decision.

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The vacant cafe covers 8 Boyd Street, within a four-storey tenement, and number 10, which covers a gap between two tenements and is single-storey.

The cafe on Boyd Street.

Planning officials had decided that the proposal would “result in an increase in noise, activity and cooking fumes” and “unacceptably impact on the residential amenity” of neighbours within the tenement.

They also said inadequate information had been provided on the required ventilation system and the “proposed method is not an externally mounted high level flue as required”.

In their appeal, the owners promised to alter the existing ventilation system and argued the cafe has been “cooking and selling hot food for consumption on and off premises for the last 11 years”.

“With a new tenant hoping to take on the unit, it is the purpose of this application to formalise this existing use as class 3 sui generis and to allow for a slightly later curfew of 10pm.

“The new tenant plans to serve high-end Thai cuisine, focusing on take-away and (mainly) home delivery, with a very limited number of perches located within number eight, should the occasional customer wish to stand and eat their meal on-site. As a result, the footfall on-site will reduce when compared to the current arrangements, leading to an overall quieter operation.”

The council received one objection to the appeal, which raised concerns over fly tipping, litter and the impact of later opening hours on neighbours.

Cllr Eva Bolander, who chaired the review committee, said: “My concern is that we have not had any proposals for how waste will be dealt with, it is one of the main things to keep premises like this in a hygienic condition.”

And Cllr Christy Mearns added: “I am particularly mindful that the application is contrary to the city development plan and this change of use from a cafe to a takeaway would result in a use that is not as appropriate for a town centre, which this is.

“I am also concerned about parking issues as it is a street which already seems to have pressure on parking, it is also a street which there is no through access to and from.”

She added the “intensification of driving” a takeaway could bring, with delivery drivers and food collections, would be “potentially an unacceptable or problematic side effect of granting this application”.

Cllr Hanzala Malik wanted the application to be continued for more information, and was backed by Cllr Hanif Raja. However, the pair lost out by six votes to two.

“I’m concerned that if the place has already been operating for ten years, and I don’t see any complaints of noise, nuisance, smell or refuse, for us to then be refusing on those grounds, I think that’s a little unfair,” Cllr Malik said. “In terms of traffic, I would have liked to have seen a report from the highway people to demonstrate if there would be an issue there.”