A controversial beer garden in Banchory town centre has been allowed to stay despite concerns it is attracting “rowdy drinkers”.
Aberdeenshire Council gave the green light for the Burnett Arms Hotel to keep the structure, which has been in the heart of the Deeside town since Covid-19.
The company’s director Munish Dheer applied for retrospective planning permission for the addition, which was put in place nearly three years ago during the pandemic when rules surrounding outdoor hospitality were relaxed.
If it had been denied by the council, the beer garden at the hotel would have to have been removed.
There was one condition attached to the granting of planning permission, with the hotel being told to not operate the beer garden outwith the hours of 10am-10pm, unless approved by Aberdeenshire Council.
The authority said the reason for this is to “ensure that the development would not result in undue loss of amenity for surrounding properties”.
In June, a number of Banchory residents complained about the presence of the hotel’s beer garden.
Ranald McDonald, of the town’s Watson Street, complained that the area was taking up “much-needed parking spaces” and leading to people parking up illegally.
As well as this, he was unhappy at the amount of rowdy drinkers that frequented the facility.
‘Banchory needs more beer gardens’
Jim Laird said it was “ridiculous” that the business had taken away seven parking spots for a “seldom used” beer garden.
However, not everyone was against it, with Ryan Milne saying: “Banchory needs more beer gardens for the nice summer ahead.”
Banchory High Street resident Liam Thomson was also in favour of the plans, adding: “The town needs a bit of atmosphere. Plenty parking spaces around.”
Meanwhile, Banchory Community Council took a neutral stance in the debate, saying there were pros and cons to both sides.
However, they expressed their opposition to retrospective planning applications, concluding: “We see them as presumptuous and a discourtesy to the community.”