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Scotmid Appeals Takeaway Decision

The owner of 24 High Street, Scotmid, have submitted an appeal to seek an alternative outcome after the refusal of their “change of use” application for a High Street unit.

Scotmid, owner of the former butchers at 24 High Street, have submitted an appeal to Midlothian Council after the county’s planning committee refused to grant “change of use” to allow the retail unit to operate as a hot food takeaway.

Midlothian Council’s planning committee went against the Head of Communities & Economy’s recommendation to grant COU citing the high concentration of takeaways in Penicuik. This is reaffirmed by planning policy DP7 which states:

Hot food takeaway shops will only be permitted if they are located within a town centre, local or neighbourhood shopping centre, or a predominantly commercial or business area. Within existing shopping centres, consideration will be given to the cumulative effect of additional hot food takeaway establishments on the vitality and viability of the centre, and permission will not be granted if this is assessed to be seriously harmful.

However Scotmid, claims that the unit is unmarketable as a retail unit, after having “no interest” in four years. As such they seek to overturn the decision so that the unit can be let to a tenant who wants to operate a takeaway. Scotmid’s planning firm says that such a development would not be “seriously harmful” and that the unit would “increase footfall and contribute to the overall vitality and viability of the area”. Scotmid said that they “have great difficulty in comprehending its decision to refuse.”

The application for COU was objected to by the Community Council, who asked for the council to allow the new BID steering group to evaluate their vision for the high street. Additionally 22 surrounding businesses signed a petition calling for refusal. You can read more on that here.

The appeal will be considered by the review board next month.

Penicuik has eight operating takeaways along the A701/John Street/High Street whilst two takeaway units remain vacant.

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