Plans for a restaurant in old train carriages could be rejected due to fears over a loss of parking.
Perth and Kinross Council planning officials have recommended that a proposal for the Thai restaurant in two 40-year-old British rail cars be rejected.
Pharmaceuticals executive Fergus McCalIum and his wife Isara aim to convert the two cars into a 60-seat restaurant, which will be based in a Pitlochry car park.
They have already had their two carriages, InterCity 125 coaches from Great Western Railway, repainted in their British Rail blue, however there are now concerns that the plan may go off the rails.
A new report from planning officers has recommended that councillors reject the plans, due to the impact that it will have on parking in the area.
It reads: “It is considered that in the absence of evidence either held by the council or
submitted by the agent, the council cannot support the loss of parking at this
location at this time.
“The proposal also raises road safety concerns which have not been addressed within the submission.
“Policy encourages the retention of existing transport infrastructure and the proposal will reduce parking within this well used carpark which will be compounded with the potential use of further parking for staff and patrons.”
The report also expresses a number of safety concerns about the proposition, continuing: “It has not been demonstrated that the servicing of the railway carriage
and pedestrian safety can be accommodated.”
‘Advised to withdraw’
However, Fergus and Isara are still planning to continue with their application.
The pair have claimed the council had previously been helpful with the plans, however suddenly changed their tone last month.
Fergus said: “We’ve been working with the council for just short of a year and up until recently they were absolutely brilliant.
“Everybody was supporting us, but then on February 17 the tone was totally changed.
“We were advised to withdraw the plan and now this report has come out.
“It was like invasion of the bodysnatchers, as if they had all come down and been swapped overnight.
“Since February 17 it’s just been different, we got an email saying that they no longer supported it.
“We’ve spent over £78,000, it’s all my life savings have gone into this, and the support is just gone.
“We were told that we could withdraw and get some of our money back, but we don’t want to.
“My wife just wants to open a nice Thai restaurant, give people lovely food and employ four or five people in the area.”
The report is ahead of the council’s planning and development management committee on Wednesday
A spokesman for Perth and Kinross Council said: “The Planning and Development Management Committee will consider this application on Wednesday April 7.
“Officers have recommended refusal of the application because of road safety concerns, the loss of parking spaces in Pitlochry and because it is contrary to the development plan.
“Officers advised Mr McCallum in February he could withdraw his application and resubmit it when he had secured a site for his proposed development.”