The retrospective application was for the formation of an outdoor seating area/beer garden, including the erection of fencing and enclosures, decking and canopy.
Owner Stewart Crawford said he had been told the application for temporary planning permission for one year would have been refused by the council so he withdrew it and is now going to lodge another application for permanent permission to use the beer garden – which is already in place at the hotel and in its car park.
The Orchard Hotel had been involved in extensive work to redesign its outdoor seating area over the last year.
This area – including part of the hotel’s car park – had been extended under special legislation brought in to make it easier for businesses to get a licence for outdoor drinking areas while COVID-19 restrictions were in full force.
However, the extent of the work meant planning permission was also required.
The beer garden caused controversy last year when the local authority’s licensing board gave it the go ahead to use the beer garden, despite the objections of nearby residents.
At the time it was stated there had been 50 complaints received about noise from The Orchard Hotel over the past five years. However, only six or seven of those had been made in 2019.
One neighbour told the board she and other local residents had made repeated complaints over a sustained period of time about the noise coming from the hotel – in particular when the venue had live music and kept the windows open.
Residents stated they were also concerned about the parking issues they believed would be inevitable while the hotel’s car park was out of action.
The Orchard Hotel said they also had received letters of support from other neighbours and businesses in Falkirk town centre about the beer garden.