A PLANNING application to alter the trading hours of a North Berwick restaurant has been opposed by the town’s community council.

Plans have been submitted by Stirling Stewart, who runs the Rocketeer on Victoria Road, for the restaurant’s closing time to be extended by two hours from 8pm to 10pm, seven days a week.

The planning application is separate to the licensing application for year-round opening at the restaurant which was approved by East Lothian Licensing Board last month.

And as well as altering the closing time, the planning application submitted by Mr Stewart also proposes that the opening time moves back an hour, to 11am from 10am, each day.

At a meeting of North Berwick Community Council (NBCC) last Tuesday, members agreed to object to the newly-submitted planning application.

They felt allowing the Rocketeer to open until 10pm would create “a late-evening disturbance for local residents” and felt 8pm was a more appropriate closing time due to the Rocketeer being isolated from other restaurants and pubs and in a largely residential area.

Concerns over the Rocketeer’s opening hours had also been raised at the licensing board meeting in Haddington Town House last month.

Then, one objector said: “Allowing later opening hours from 8pm to 10pm all-year round will have a negative impact on the residential area – light pollution, noise from diners/air conditioning/cooking smells and increased road traffic.

“The houses opposite will be disturbed by a busy restaurant/off-licence operating until 10pm, seven days a week, 365 days all year round.

“Noise from diners leaving and takeaway meals and alcohol will cause an unreasonable disturbance to the residents, especially as bedrooms face the restaurant.”

On the idea behind remaining open until 10pm each evening, Mr Stewart, who also runs the Nether Abbey hotel in the town, said the extra evening time would mean “people can sit at 7.30pm and still have time to enjoy their meal.”

However, Geraldine Prince, a member of North Berwick Community Council (NBCC) and a Victoria Road resident, told NBCC she wanted the closing time to remain at 8pm.

NBCC members agreed to object to the plans for the closing time – they did not discuss the change of opening time.., which the application proposes is moved from 10am to 11am.