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Waste worries raised by Highland Council planning officers over Inverness eatery bid

By Alasdair Fraser

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The vacant site at 47-49 High Street, Inverness.
The vacant site at 47-49 High Street, Inverness.

A MOVE to create a new city centre restaurant faces opposition over waste disposal arrangements.

Akara Properties wants to secure a change of use for the premises at 47-49 High Street, on the corner with Mealmarket Close.

The two-floor property has lain empty for about three years.

If approved by planners, a switch from a class two premises to class three would enable a future occupant, with none yet identified, to operate a full commercial kitchen.

The plan features seating for diners on two floors, a ground floor kitchen, offices and toilets, and would require the installation of an extractor duct with noise and odour filters.

A design statement by architectural consultant WA MacDonald (Building Design) Ltd states the business would be expected to employ 12 part-time and six full-time members of staff, with opening hours from noon until 10pm, seven days per week.

No alterations are planned for the exterior of the building and a commercial contract would be entered into to deal with all waste.

“We are in strange and uncharted times and we must do all we can to keep our main areas lively,” they said.

“Already, retail has been hit quite badly due to internet shopping and the risk is that areas like High Street become unused and derelict.

“This proposal will ensure that the premises will be re-occupied and assist in keeping the High Street vibrant in these unusual and challenging times.”

However, a Highland Council environmental officer response objects to the plan’s breach of city centre trade waste policy.

“The proposed development does not have a designated waste storage area and intends to store the commercial waste bins externally on Mealmarket Close,” they said.

“Our service would, therefore, object to this application until a suitable off-street storage area is provided for all the commercial waste bins.”

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