Wetherspoon granted permission for 'superpub' at former music venue
Picture House on Edinburgh's Lothian Road will become a bar after councillors granted the final planning consent.
Wetherspoon has been given the go-ahead to transform a music venue in Edinburgh into a "superpub" after more than a year of debate.
The Picture House on Lothian Road will become a bar after councillors granted the final planning consent at the development management sub-committee on Wednesday, with six votes in favour of the application.
The news comes despite a 13,400-strong online petition submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council against the public house.
In January, councillors delayed the decision requesting further information on the impact on Lothian Road.
At the committee, councillors heard Police Scotland raised no objections to the change of use and thought it would decrease the potential for anti-social behaviour in the area.
A representative for Police Scotland said: "I appreciate that the use of a music venue may be less as discussed, but there is a significant reduction in capacity from something like 1500 to 768 I believe and reduced opening hours.
"Rather than spilling out at 3am the licence will only go up to one o'clock. It's already a licensed premise so it's not adding anything new from a Police perspective."
Councillors said they understand there will be disappointment from the public at the loss of a live music venue, yet this was not a planning consideration.
Councillor Cameron Rose said: "There is a lot of representations here, if we go ahead and approve this and go with the recommendation, I think there's a lot of people who will be disappointed.
"My understanding here is if we go ahead and approve it, the arguments that are made in most of these representations in relation to having a need for a live music venue in the centre of Edinburgh is not really an issue we can address. I think that's got to be addressed elsewhere."
Councillor Ian Perry added: "In relation to the representations, they have been about a live music venue and that's not really a planning reason for either granting or refusing this.
"Unfortunately for the people who have written in in terms of the representations, it's difficult for us as a planning committee to make comment on that because we have to judge the application as we see it in front of us.
"It's really not within our power in terms of this application to stipulate that this should be maintained as a live music venue. We have to deal with the application as see it and as far as I can see, I can't see any reason for refusing it."