Submitted by Editor on Tue, 04/07/2023 - 12:49

Those managing the former Bank of Scotland premises at 6 Picardy Place find themselves with a problem

Tex-Mex-style food chain Taco Bell wants to open a restaurant here (21/05443/FUL). But in April 2022, Council Planners granted permission on condition that ‘Cooking operations shall be restricted to the use of one microwave oven, one panini machine, one soup urn, and one toaster only; no other forms of cooking shall take place without the prior written approval of the planning authority.

The reason given was ‘to protect neighbouring amenity’.

It’s fair to say that this permitted scenario does not match Taco Bell’s operating norms or business model.

Now, Lionacre Properties (SC) Limited, a London-based company involved in letting and operating its own or leased real estate, seeks changes (23/02655/FUL).

It has applied to the Council for variations in permitted ways to control and treat cooking odours on the premises, and ‘to limit the range of cooking equipment to that used by Taco Bell’: an unspecified number of cheese melters, compact grills, hotplates, flat tortilla grills, open fryers and electric rethermalisers.

Picardy Place

Lionacre’s agents approached the Planning authority for pre-application discussion about the latest proposals. They were advised to proceed with the application but warned that the Council’s Environmental Protection team ‘remain of the view that such installations should not be supported, given the experience we have of complaints’.

They were also advised that, if planning permission is refused, they have the right to appeal. 

Food in your heart

The company’s website notes that the first Taco Bell opened in Southern California in 1962 after its founder, Glen Bell, had a dream.

‘This dream saw the introduction of food you could hold in your hands, and in your heart. Food that was as much about what’s in it, as who’s around you when you’re enjoying it. And so, Taco Bell became a global sensation, symbolising a movement of agile, trailblazing individuals unafraid to Live Más.'

The company now claims to serve more that 2 billion customers per year from over 7,000 outlets worldwide, including one on Shandwick Place. Spurtle has yet to see evidence that its staff or customers are particularly agile.

Is Picardy Place ‘ready to Taco?’ Perhaps not. A determination is expected by 18 August.

[Image top-right: Miansari66, Wikipedia, Creative Commons.]


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