A WELL-KNOWN bakery chain has been successful in an application for outdoor seating on Peebles High Street – despite community leaders objecting to the proposal.

Greggs submitted documents to Scottish Borders Council (SBC) officials showing plans for six tables and 12 seats on the pavement, as well as a "small, demountable barrier" and a waste bin.

Both Peebles Community Council and Peebles Civic Society opposed the proposal to change the use of the pavement to form an outdoor seating area.

However, council officers have approved the plans – subject to a number of conditions.

The conditions of the approval include all tables, chairs, barriers and bins being removed outwith opening hours.

According to SBC papers, the bin, furniture, barriers and associated banners “shall be plain and not display lettering, devices or logos” to “safeguard the character and appearance of the conservation area”.

Meanwhile, in order for the council to retain control over the public footway, consent has been given for three years, after which the outdoor seating area will be removed – unless a new application is approved.

Before the decision to approve the application, community leaders said the development was not “appropriate”, stating that a licence for temporary use of the pavement rather than a permanent change of use would be preferable.

At a community council meeting in May, concerns were also raised about the amount of pavement space that would be taken up by the seating.

A report from council planning officer Ranald Dods states: “I note the comments of both the community council and the Peebles Civic Society (PCS) but have to take into consideration the fact that [SBC’s team dedicated to] Roads did not object to the proposal.

“Roads noted that the pavement is relatively wide in front of the site and has high footfall. They also commented that the site forms part of the public road and as such would not be in favour of a permanent change of use (which would require a Stopping Up Order) but could support some form of temporary seating, subject to conditions.

“Drawings were submitted in response to that consultation and, having assessed those, Roads noted they were content with the contents.”

It was also noted by the community leaders that there was nothing in the application that was applying for change of use for the property “from the present retail use (class 1) to a café (class 3)”.

While Mr Dods agreed that there was a requirement for a change of use, he said that the application needed “to be considered on its own merits”.

On Monday (July 12), an application was submitted to SBC by Greggs for a change of use from class 1 to a hybrid of class 1 and class 3.