THE developers behind a controversial bid to turn a Barrhead pub into a funeral parlour are appealing against a council decision to reject the plans.

Sava Estates’ appeal to the Scottish Government brands the decision to refuse the application to open the business on the site of the former Hurlet Carvery as “flawed” and “incompetent.”

East Renfrewshire Council’s planning chiefs rejected the proposals last month, saying there was a lack of parking provision and a risk of congestion.

The committee had been urged to approve the scheme by planning officers but it lost out by three votes to two.

Barrhead News:

Councillor Stewart Miller said those who took part in a site visit thought the exit was “too dangerous.”

However, agent Don Bennett, of Bennett Developments and Consulting, on behalf of Sava Estates, has objected to the decision.

The appeal to the Scottish Government states: “Prior to the application being lodged and during the deliberations, there had been discussions with the planning officer and traffic section staff. These were fruitful and resulted in the planning officer being comfortable with the proposed development and progressing the application with a view to recommending approval of the application.

“It was therefore a matter of some surprise and concern to the applicant that, notwithstanding the support of the planning service, the application had been refused.”

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Mr Bennett added that it would have been normal for the council to identify which planning policies the application had failed to address.

“It is reasonable to assume that, having entrusted the formulation of the policy framework to their in-house planning staff, the recommendations and opinions of the same staff would be seen as competent and considered,” he commented.

“After all, who better to understand the nature and aspirations of the policies than the parties who devised them?

“Yet, perversely, the elected members saw fit to reject the recommendations of their professional planning staff.

“While it is within the regulations for a planning committee to reject the recommendations of their officers, it is incumbent on the planning committee to present supportive and substantive arguments to support their contrary stance.

“It is not acceptable for the planning committee to simply reject the recommendation on nothing more than a tissue of subjective and ill-considered comment.”

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In the appeal, the agent claims the planning officer had accepted the site was adjacent to a busy road.

A council spokesperson said: “A recommendation was made to the Planning Applications Committee to approve the development, subject to conditions. The committee considered the application and the information available to them, however decided to refuse the application on the grounds of traffic congestion and lack of parking.”