The battle over whether or not The Pizza Parlour on Cowgate will be able to keep its permanent canopy is set to be decided next week (November 15) when it is discussed by the city’s planning committee.
Planning officers have recommended that councillors refuse the restaurant’s retrospective application for a fixed canopy for a period of three years.
The restaurant sits in the City Core and the Centre Conservation Area, where many properties are locally listed.
In 2016, a retractable canopy, such as many of the surrounding restaurants have, was installed but in 2021, a permanent one was installed and that retrospective application was refused.
Officers said that the canopy “by virtue of its design, unacceptably impacted upon the character and appearance of the site and the surrounding City Centre Conservation Area.”
An identical application was then submitted claiming that the original decision did not give weight to the public benefits of the proposal and that the proposal would help to sustain the business amid unprecedented challenges and would help to protect the viability and vitality of Cowgate and the wider city centre, supporting the local economy.
The city council conservation officer remains opposed to the canopy and the civic society has also objected; describing the canopy as “an unattractive, substantial box girder structure which imposes negatively on the street scene and out of character with Cowgate and the City Centre Conservation Area.”
The decision has been called in to be discussed by the committee at the request of Cllr Mohammed Jamil.
He said: “I would like to refer this application to committee because I feel that the committee can then consider the heritage considerations so they can be carefully balanced against the economic benefits of the scheme and the importance of independent businesses to our city centre. Importantly, our planning policies pre-date the COVID pandemic and the heightened need for safe and protected outside seating which is something the government actively encourages.
” I honestly believe that the design of the proposal is acceptable for the Conservation Area.”
The meeting takes place on Tuesday at 1:30pm.