A Barrhead pub will be turned into a funeral parlour after a successful appeal to the Scottish Government.
East Renfrewshire Council’s decision to reject the unpopular bid has been overturned despite opposition from nearby residents.
Sava Estates now has permission to convert the former Hurlet Carvery, even though the council’s planning committee ruled there was a lack of parking provision and a risk of congestion.
Mike Shiel, a reporter appointed by the government, decided the 69 parking spaces included in the company’s application were adequate.
“The council refused planning permission solely on the basis that the development would result in road congestion at this location, and that there was a lack of parking provision,” his report stated.
“However, there are 69 parking spaces within the site, and the council has provided no evidence as to why it considers this to be inadequate.
“The council’s own road services department recommended that there should be one parking space per two seats in the proposed chapel, and the amount of parking provided seemed adequate. I see no reason to disagree with that view.”
Plans to turn the once-popular pub into a funeral parlour were set to get the green light in May, when the council’s planning officers recommended the scheme for approval.
But residents living near to the site feared an increase in traffic and noise pollution.
The planning committee decided to reject the proposal, with Councillor Stewart Miller saying those who took part in a site visit thought the exit was “too dangerous”.
In its appeal, the applicant blasted that decision as “flawed” and “incompetent”, pointing out the council’s own officers had recommended the plan for approval.
Mr Shiel found there was “unlikely to be any increase in the use of the access to the site” from the A736 Glasgow Road.
“With regards to the access from the A726 Hurlet Road, Transport Scotland did not advise against the granting of planning permission, nor did it suggest that any conditions be imposed,” the report added.
He said no evidence had been provided to show existing levels of congestion at the junction. “I fully understand the concerns of the occupants of the nearby Hurlet Cottages about their access to and from this junction. However, this is an existing problem, and I am not convinced that the funeral parlour would exacerbate it.”
Earlier this year, a multi-million pound plan to build East Renfrewshire’s first crematorium next to St Conval’s Cemetery in Barrhead was approved. Mr Shiel said: “This will be a much more significant development in the green belt, which the council judged to be acceptable.”
The funeral parlour is expected to handle between 500 and 1,000 funerals per year. Most services will take place away from the parlour, in a church or crematorium. However, there will be a small chapel on site.
Plans show the premises would be open from 9am to 5pm on seven days a week, with up to eight staff present between 8am and 6pm.
An appeal against the decision could made to the Court of Session in Edinburgh. A letter detailing the decision has been sent to relevant parties, stating any appeal must be made within six weeks and can only be made on a point of law.