The emergence of Supermacs here is naturally of great surprise, and would appear to be warranted given the apparent lack of planning permission - there's no record of a change of use application on DCC's site, nor for alterations to the shopfront. I also saw no site notice to this effect.
The Special Planning Control Scheme which covers Westmoreland Street states: "The conversion of a restaurant/cafÃ© or part of a restaurant/cafÃ© to a fast food outlet will constitute a change of use and will require planning permission." It also specially notes: "There are no locations in the Area of Special Planning Control that are considered suitable for additional fast food outlets or outlets for the sale of hot food for consumption off the premises (take-aways)." Can a take-away/sit-in coffee outlet (i.e. Barnie's) be considered the same as a full-blown fast food restaurant? Perhaps Beshoff's takeaway designation beforehand swung it, with Barnie's continuing to trade under the banner.
Even use aside, the previous Barnie's signage which was average but at least muted was completely altered by Supermacs painting the cheap, applied timber facia day-glo white. It is cheap and nasty, and a tacky scar on this imposing building.
Also more holes drilled in the granite for security camera fittings and nasty cabling, and yet more brash floodlighting with exposed junction boxes and cabling overhanging the street.
While yet more doorcases and window frames have been taken out in favour of expansive glazing exposing all of the interior to the street. And already they have illegal postering tacked about their new glazing.
The only positive move was the cleaning of the stonework and removal of menus. Here's Barnie's before.
Did DCC have so much as a look-in on this case? Even if they did, it thoroughly stinks.
Another slap in the face towards improving Westmoreland Street.