Bid to turn old TSB bank into restaurant gets green light

The site on Duke Street in the east end of Glasgow is set to become a restaurant despite previous objections.

Bid to turn old Glasgow TSB bank into restaurant gets green light LDRS

A bid to turn a former Glasgow bank into a restaurant has been approved following an appeal.

Council planners had rejected Excel Estates Glasgow Ltd’s plan to convert the old TSB on Duke Street, Dennistoun in December last year.

The decision came after previous applications, from two different firms, to change the use of the bank to a restaurant with takeaway and an amusement arcade had also been refused.

But the city’s planning review committee has now agreed the building can be converted after the applicant called for the ruling to be looked at again.

Planning officials had said the project would lead to “more than 20% of the units in a street block being in use for food, drink and entertainment”. 

It would therefore “result in an increase in noise, activity and cooking fumes” and “unacceptably impact” on neighbours, they decided.

However the agent for the developer said officials had reported the proposed use was “unacceptable” but he believed this was “simply untrue”.

“The application was for a restaurant, nothing more. It was not for any other use or combination of uses,” an appeal statement added.

“To refuse it therefore for a use which was not being sought is clearly not competent. In addition supporting information was provided that indicated that the property had been vacant for three years, during which time it had been marketed unsuccessfully, the only interest being from hot food takeaways.”

It argued the use will “contribute to the vibrancy and vitality of the area and the fact that the property will be occupied will ensure a rates return to the city, investment in the area and offer job opportunities for local residents”.

A planning official told councillors there was no dedicated cycle parking in the plan but two racks, for four bikes, were available on the opposite pavement.

Cllr Martha Wardrop, Greens, said she had concerns over the lack of cycle parking and the potential noise impact on residents.

“I appreciate the need to bring this building back into use. It is an important town centre in the city,” she said, but added it is “in everyone’s interest to encourage cycling”.

“We are in a climate emergency and we have to support people to get out of their cars.”

Cllr Eva Bolander, SNP, initially suggested reducing the opening hours from midnight on a Friday and Saturday. “I think 12am, with having tenements around, is quite late for a restaurant,” she said.

However, she later added changing the times was “not a hill I’m going to die on”. The restaurant will be able to open from 10am to 11pm from Sunday to Thursday and 10am to midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Cllr Thomas Kerr, Conservative, said reducing the opening hours would “probably be putting this business at a disadvantage”. 

He added: “I think if they are willing to put the money into the local area, I would much rather we support them.”

Cllr Maureen Burke, Labour, said: “I feel that, if the building has been lying empty for so long, it’s good that it’s going to come into good use and provide a service for the community and beyond.

“People are struggling after coming out of covid, and it’s good that someone is able to take this building on.”

Councillors decided to approve the application, with Cllr Wardrop recording her dissent.

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