Portobello High Street: Former bank converted into fish and chips

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Plans to convert the former TSB premises on Portobello High Street into a restaurant and takeaway have been approved by councillors. The claimant, Alberto Iaconelli, made the planning application last year to convert the bank, which closed in May 2020 amid a wave of branch closures across the UK.

But not everyone agreed with the proposals put forward by Mr. Iaconelli, who already has a take-out sale in Alloa. In total, Edinburgh City Council received 13 objections, with locals complaining that Portobello High Street is already overrun with fast food outlets.

Concerns have also been raised about potential odors coming from the restaurant’s kitchen. The occupant of the flat above the property said he would be ‘very upset’ if odors ‘come up from the floors’.

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The former TSB bank on Portobello High Street.

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The resident added: “An apartment that constantly smells of frying will not only be difficult to live in, but very difficult to sell. Portobello is well served by a variety of restaurants and takeaways, and already has two fish and chip shops, I don’t think there is a need for another.”

A second objector said: ‘We already have a fish and chip shop a few doors down. We already have the smell of fried food. As the building is over 100 years old, smells would seep through and into the building.

Another commented: “There is no compelling reason to increase the number of hot takeaway outlets in Portobello. The situation is unchanged and has worsened during the current Covid-19 period where any additional outlets threaten the viability of existing businesses.

But despite the various negative opinions, the planning officers have concluded that the proposed development is “compatible with the existing building”.

It will also preserve the character and appearance of the Portobello Conservation Area and have “no negative impact on nearby residential amenities”, they added in a report to councillors.

Before the Development Management Sub-Committee, councilors raised no concerns and planning permission was granted.

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