SAFETY fears caused councillors to reject plans to transform a Barrhead pub into a funeral parlour.

Sava Estates’ application to open the business on the site of the former Hurlet Carvery had been recommended for approval by East Renfrewshire’s planning chiefs.

However, councillors ignored the advice and, instead, decided to snub the proposals, which had attracted complaints from nearby residents.

In a tight vote, three councillors – Betty Cunningham, Jim Fletcher and Stewart Miller – voted against the plans while two others – Annette Ireland and Angela Convery – ruled in favour.

Councillor Miller said those who had visited the site had raised concerns over its exit, branding it “too dangerous.”

He said: “You had to be three-quarters of the way out of the exit before you could see what was coming.

“It was too dangerous. That’s the only reason I went against it.”

Dozens of objections to the scheme were submitted, with residents raising fears over an increase in traffic and noise pollution, as well as a negative impact on greenspace, wildlife and property values.

And they said an alternative site should be found for the funeral parlour, which would have been erected just yards away from where East Renfrewshire’s first crematorium is to be built.

David Thomson, 77, who lives opposite the Hurlet in Glasgow Road, told the Barrhead News he is “delighted” to see the plans halted.

He said: “Our main concern was the extra traffic. It is already difficult for people getting in and out of the Hurlet Cottages.

“I would like to see it stay as a restaurant in some way, as I think it would be a good place for people to go after attending the crematorium.”

The funeral parlour would have been open from 9am to 5pm, seven days per week, with the site’s 69-space car park being retained.

Barrhead’s MSP, Tom Arthur, welcomed the decision to reject the controversial plans.

He said: “I’m glad my constituents’ concerns have been taken on board by the planning committee.”

Council officers had recommended approval of the plans, as this would bring an empty building back into use.

Sava Estates have the option of lodging an appeal to the Scottish Government.

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