St Boswells chip shop ordered to take away white plastic windows

Scott's View Takeaway in St Boswells.
Scott's View Takeaway in St Boswells.

A Borders fish-and-chip shop has failed in a bid to overturn a planning enforcement notice after installing a white uPVC frontage without first seeking permission.

Scott’s View Takeaway in St Boswells was issued with an enforcement notice by council planning officers ordering owner Abbay Lazim to remove a white uPVC-framed door and windows installed last year as his takeaway is situated within a conservation area.

Mr Lazim subsequently submitted a planning application seeking to replace the Main Street business’s window frames with more traditional timber ones but retaining the plastic door.

However, that too was rejected by planning officers insistent that the uPVC door is in breach of conservation area policy, prompting Mr Lazim to appeal to Scottish Borders Council’s local review body.

His agent, Hamish Hunter of Stow-based Hunter Architecture, outlined his grounds of appeal in written submission to the review body, saying: “In 2017, the applicant replaced the shop front windows and door of his takeaway shop with white uPVC units.

“At the time, he was unaware of the conservation area restrictions.

“Following this, he was reported to the planning enforcement team, who, in turn, started proceedings to have the windows replaced.

“The applicant is now fully aware that his replacement shopfront did not have the necessary consents and instructed me to make a planning application on his behalf to have the front window screens replaced with timber frames units and the recessed window and door retained in uPVC. This application was refused.

“The replacement uPVC window screens have already cost the applicant a considerable amount.

“The replacement of the front prominent screens as proposed in his application is a costly operation which will tax his business.

“The cost of replacing the recessed side panel and door would add considerably to what is already going to be a very expensive exercise.

“The applicant has accepted his error and is clearly prepared to replace the prominent windows on his shop front with windows that will conform to guidance.

“However, insisting on the less visible recess door and side screen to be changed to timber is unreasonable.”

The applicant’s agent also pointed out that the post office directly across the road also appears to have non-compliant shop frontage.

East Berwickshire councillor Helen Laing told last week’s local review body meeting: “I have some sympathy with the applicant regarding the costs involved, but my initial reaction is that officers have made the right decision.

“It’s in a conservation area, and although there are other businesses in the area that seem to be flouting the rules, that doesn’t make it right for us to allow that to continue.

“It’s about trying to conserve the quality of the area, and the street, so my initial reaction is that the officers have got this right and it should be refused.”

However, Jedburgh and District councillor Scott Hamilton said: “I’m slightly in disagreement there. If you look opposite the takeaway, there is a Co-op across the way. The door and shop frontage there is not really compliant. I’m not very keen on it all, to be honest, although that’s a personal opinion.

“I have a great deal of sympathy for the costs involved in replacing the whole shop frontage, but I think that, looking at what we have opposite and the Co-op, I’m leaning more towards that this half-measure of replacing the shop frontage but leaving the door is the way to go.”

Each councillor submitted a motion, one to side with the officers and refuse the application and one to overturn the officers’ decision and allow Mr Lazim to replace only part of his shop frontage.

However, Mr Hamilton’s motion to overturn the decision was voted out by five to two, so Mr Lazim must now replace the entire shop frontage with compliant materials.