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Town centre boozer fights to extend beer garden

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Dumfries and West
Town centre boozer fights to extend beer garden

A DUMFRIES pub named after Robert the Bruce is involved in a battle to extend its beer garden.

Wetherspoons boozer The Robert The Bruce, on Buccleuch Street, is fighting for planning permission to increase the size of its existing beer garden, make alterations to the rear of the pub, and create a bin storage area.

An application was recently submitted to Dumfries and Galloway Council by pub-chain owner JD Wetherspoons – however six objections have been lodged by nearby residents.

They are worried about increased noise, disturbances, an impact on their privacy, an increase in traffic to the rear lane which may block access, light pollution, and the impact the alterations will have on the historic building.

Council planning papers state: “The application building occupies a prominent location on the corner of Buccleuch Street and Castle Street in the Dumfries Conservation Area.

“It is a category-A listed building (i.e. one of national importance). Although it was built as an Episcopal church around 1817 in the ‘classical’ tradition, it is currently used as a public house.

“The site is located within the Dumfries town centre and is surrounded by a mix of business, commercial, office and residential uses. The building also lies within an archaeologically sensitive area.

“To the rear of the building is an existing beer garden. The application seeks full planning permission to extend the beer garden to the rear of 77 Buccleuch Street, 25 Castle Street and to the southern side of the garden area of 27 Castle Street, along with the formation of a new bin store and alterations to the rear elevation of the building.”

However, council planning officer Louise Medland stated: “The proposal is considered to be compliant with the provisions of the stated development plan policies.”

She recommended that the beer garden extension is approved, subject to conditions.

And the matter will go before the council’s planning committee next Wednesday for councillors to decide.

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