Controversial plans to turn a once-popular pub into a funeral parlour are expected to get the green light this week.
Councillors have been urged to approve a scheme which would see former The Hurlet carvery restaurant and public house, on Glasgow Road, Barrhead, converted into a venue for funeral ceremonies, holding up to 1000 services per year.
Objections to the proposal have been submitted by 19 nearby residents while a petition, with 14 signatures, has also been handed in.
They fear an increase in traffic and noise pollution as well as a negative impact on greenspace, wildlife and property values.
Protesters say an alternative site should be found for the funeral parlour, which would be erected just yards away from where East Renfrewshire’s first crematorium will be built.
However, a report to councillors recommends the plan should be approved, bringing an empty building back into use.
Renfrewshire South MSP Tom Arthur is urging East Renfrewshire Council to consider the thoughts of residents living near The Hurlet.
Although he gave a cautious welcome to the decision to approve plans for a crematorium on Glasgow Road, Mr Arthur said: “My primary objective is to make sure the concerns of my constituents at the Hurlet Cottages regarding the funeral parlour are taken on board by the local authority.
“Their concerns are around access, given the potential volume of traffic, and the size and scale of the development.
“If a decision is taken by the local authority to give planning permission for the funeral parlour to go ahead, I want to ensure that the concerns expressed by my constituents are taken into account and any planning permission given would be contingent upon the issues being addressed, and to ensure there wasn’t going to be any detrimental impact on the residents.”
One of the objectors, David Thomson (77), who has lived across from The Hurlet for 12 years, said: “I don’t think turning The Hurlet into a funeral parlour is the best idea.
“For a start, it will mean a lot of corteges going in and coming out, and Glasgow Road is busy at the best of times.”
Elena Rennie and her husband Graham have lived in the nearby Hurlet Cottages for 20 years and are also opposed to the plans.
“This development will be an eyesore,” she said. “I know that we all end up in the same place one day but one does not want to be reminded of one’s mortality all the time.”
The Council report reveals applicant Sava Estates plans to build a service area for ceremonies, with a capacity for 40 to 50 people, four viewing areas, a foyer and reception areas.
They would retain the site’s 69-space car park and create offices, meeting rooms and a preparation area.
The proposed hours of operation are 9am to 5pm, seven days per week, with staff on site from 8am to 6pm.
“The applicant proposes to undertake between 500 and 1000 funerals per year from the site,” the report states. “1000 funerals per year would equate to three per day.
“The proposed use would not be considered to give rise to a significant reduction in the amenity of the nearby residential properties in terms of noise and disturbance.
“The proposal represents the re-use of an existing disused building and the general principle of development in the greenbelt at this location has therefore been established.”