A popular Falkirk eatery and fast food takeaway near the Forth and Clyde Canal is to be turned into a holiday hotel.
The former Dhillon’s D’Yoga Restaurant will close and its carry-out in Grahams Road moved elsewhere to make way for a conversion that will create 27 en-suite rooms for tourists visiting nearby attractions including The Falkirk Wheel, Helix Park and Kelpies to stay.
The company’s head office and distribution warehouse on the site which supplies its other outlets in Grangemouth, Bo’ness, Bathgate, Livingston and Kilsyth will also be re-located to allow the changes to go ahead.
Neighbours objected to the plan claiming it would create parking and traffic problems, cause disruption on nearby roads and streets and inconvenience residents.
They also said they were worried the property would be used as a hostel and attract “the wrong type” of client and noise levels in the area would increase.
When the change of use application was lodged last month by Dunvegan Properties UK Limited, Falkirk Council’s planning committee agreed to visit the site and listen to both sides before making a decision, but when it met on Wednesday agreed unanimously with the recommendation of officers that it should be granted.
The committee was told the use of the existing buildings for hotel accommodation is considered appropriate.
In his report, development manager Ian Dryden, said: “Minimal external changes to the building are proposed beyond the removal of industrial kitchen cooking and ventilation equipment.
“The shortfall in parking provision for the proposal is four spaces, but the applicant will provide 10 spaces, two of which would be wheelchair accessible. The roads department acknowledge a shortfall in parking requirements for the proposed hotel, but this is balanced by consideration of the vehicle and traffic generation from the existing premises.
“There is potential for substantial reduction of vehicular activity associated with current uses.
“At present the site comprises of a 110 cover licensed restaurant and hot food takeaway with customer collection open from noon until midnight, a distribution facility and offices open between 8am and 5pm. Accordingly, the level of vehicular activity and traffic requirement would likely be substantially reduced.
“Adjoining roadways are public roads and parking restrictions apply. Any member of the public, not just a patron of the hotel, may park for extensive periods out-with the hours of restriction. The stated intention is to run the premises as a hotel targeting tourist visitors. The hotel will be permanently staffed and will not incorporate a bar or a restaurant.
“The use of the buildings for hotel accommodation is considered appropriate for this urban location on the edge of Falkirk Town Centre and in close proximity to the established canal network. The site in terms of tourism offers convenient access to the Helix, Falkirk Wheel, town centre and wider tourist attractions in the area.”
Committee convener Councillor David Alexander said: “I’m happy to see this go ahead. The parking issue has been addressed and I hope the hotel guests will be encouraged to use the car park which will be provided rather than park on the street.”