A businessman has warned that restaurants in Bothwell will fold because there are simply too many of them.
However, the gloomy prediction failed to stop councillors giving the go-ahead to yet another eatery in the centre of the village.
A building occupied by a St Andrew’s Hospice shop and an office is to be converted after planning permission was granted by South Lanarkshire Council.
Claims that it will add to traffic congestion and that the proposed access from a potholed private road is totally unsuitable were dismissed by councillors on the planning committee.
Abdul Sattar, landlord of the Ivy restaurant next door, formerly the Grapevine, was one of 14 objectors who wrote to the council to oppose the proposal.
He stated: “Bothwell is a small community with several restaurants already, all of which are struggling as it is.
“I have had several tenants who had to give up the Grapevine/Ivy. The restaurant has been re-branded a few times to try to bring in more custom.
“Even the other restaurants nearby have had to re-brand and change management due to the current climate. By adding yet another restaurant, we all may as well close the doors to our businesss. There simply is no place for more competition in the area.”
However, councillors were reminded by Michael McGlynn, executive director of community and enterprise resources, that competition “is not a material planning consideration”.
Julie Cortellessa, of nearby Rosso restaurant, also objected, saying there is a “serious shortage” of parking in the village centre and there are problems with illegal parking. Another restaurant would make things worse.
She added: “Main Street is already a nightmare for road safety, with trucks and delivery vans constantly parking and manoeuvring trying to deliver their products.”
Mr McGlynn said there is space for the required 16 off-street parking spaces behind the building. Access will be from the private Ferry Road which runs behind Main Street.
Mr McGlynn stated: “The applicant does not intend to use the front of the property for car parking.
“Any concerns withe regards to the condition of Ferry Road, and any potential impact that using the road to access the proposed car park may have, is not a planning matter but a civil issue between interested parties.”