Move comes after open air eating area was labelled ‘accident waiting to happen’ by SNP council leader Jonathan McColl

By Lucy Ashton

Diners at Balloch’s Blue Lagoon chip shop – previously owned by Franco Palombo – will be able to have their fish and chips outside once again, after the council gave approval to place tables on the pavement in front of the restaurant.

Blue Lagoon had previously operated a dining space in Balloch Square, however this was labelled “an accident waiting to happen” by council leader Jonathan McColl – with staff having to cross busy Balloch Road with orders.

The Blue Lagoon owners were dismayed at this.

However at a committee meeting, councillors thumbed their noses at Cllr McColl and at reservations expressed by his colleazgue Cllr Ian Dickson and  gave the Blue Lagoon permission  for a smaller dining area in front of the restaurant.

Four tables will now be placed outside the Blue Lagoon, with the agreement able to be terminated by either party with two weeks’ notice and initially running for a year.

SNP group leader Jonathan McColl and Labour leader Martin Rooney.

Councillor Jonathan McColl expressed concerns over the width of the pavement, but Stephen McGowan – solicitor for the Blue Lagoon – said that the area had been vetted  and that there was space on the pavement outside the chip shop with the pavement remaining more than two metres wide.

Councillor Ian Dickson said: “It’s not my ward, but even I’ve had complaints from residents about bins overflowing and pest control issues.  I’ve also heard that the operators have been dismissive of public complaints.  I’m seeking assurances that these issues will just be teething problems and will be dealt with.”

But Mr McGowan said that Blue Lagoon would be “absolutely delighted to work with West Dunbartonshire Council on an ongoing basis” adding that the business “wants to be a good neighbour.”

The proposals were approved. Labour leader Martin Rooney said: “This seems pretty straightforward to me, there are quite a few safeguards in place to allow us to get confirmation that there are no access issues for pedestrians.”

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