The family behind plans to bring a train carriage Thai restaurant to Pitlochry will finally have their petition heard by councillors in the New Year.
Fergus McCallum, his wife Isara and their 19-year-old daughter Mia have received word from Perth and Kinross Council that the property sub-committee will hear their petition on January 10, 2022.
In a last-ditch effort to cling to their dream of opening the Wee Choo-Choo Thai restaurant at the Rie-Achan Road car park, beside the railway line, the McCallums launched a petition in September.
It has now gathered 1,182 signatures along with numerous messages of support.
The family also met with Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser last week, saying the politician was “very attentive”.
But their difficult journey continues. They recently met with liquidators to dissolve the Wee Choo-Choo company due to having little prospect of commencing trading on their chosen site.
This means they are desperately attempting to hold on to their two British Rail train carriages, which they had restored to their original blue paint to resemble the trains of the era.
For now, the carriages remain in a repair yard in Derbyshire.
Fergus explained: “We received a communication from Perth and Kinross Council on the Friday afternoon that the property sub-committee will hear our petition on January 10, 2022.”
Fergus previously stated if the family lose the train carriages, they will struggle to keep their restaurant plans alive.
They recently posted details of their liquidator on Facebook as the process gets underway.
The McCallums had been pleading with Perth and Kinross Council to reconsider allowing them to lease a plot of land on in the Rie-Achan Road car park.
But, following a council meeting in June, the decision was made not to market the site for business use.
Since then, the family has been working on ways to mitigate the loss of 12 parking spaces on the land, as this was identified as a potential issue.
In addition to liquidating the company, they recently announced the permanent closure of Isara’s Thistle and Orchard beauty salon in Pitlochry.
Council to look at matter
Murdo Fraser commented: “It was good to meet the McCallums and hear about their exciting plans for a new Thai restaurant in Pitlochry.
“I know that they are keen on the Rie-Achan Road site, but am also aware that there are concerns about the loss of car parking spaces there.
‘I am pleased to hear that the council will look at the matter again in January and I hope that all parties will have the chance to put their case then.”
A spokesperson for Perth and Kinross Council said: “The property sub-committee has agreed to consider this petition when it meets in January and will then decide if any further action on the part of the council is necessary.”