THE New Plough Inn in Tranent is set to be turned into an Indian restaurant and takeaway which could open this Christmas.

Plans to change the pub into a restaurant and takeaway were submitted in April by Suret Singh and were approved by East Lothian Council’s planners last Friday.

Mrs Singh and her brothers run the Bombay Lounge on Dalkeith High Street.

Their new restaurant – their first in East Lothian – will be named Bombay Brasserie.

The work to refurbish the building is expected to cost more than £100,000.

The new owners of the pub were not available for comment but previously told the Courier: “It is something we have been looking forward to for a while but we just needed a premises.

“We’ve been planning this for about six months now, since last October.”

The plans will see the existing bar removed, as well as part of a wall between the current lounge and beer cellar, with a door put in its place. The only external changes will see a new stainless steel vertical extract duct from the kitchen installed to the rear of the building, and one exterior door replaced with a window.

The restaurant’s sign will be pearl copper with orange writing and will be the same size as the existing sign, with the canopy painted in the same colours.

Inside, there will be a separate entrance for those wanting to use the takeaway service.

The restaurant itself will be able to accommodate about 100 people, with a private dining area for up to 12 people found to the rear of the restaurant.

A beer cellar, storage area, kitchen, toilets, cleaners’ cupboard and a new bar will complete the new restaurant. There will also be a beer garden.

A report by the council planning officer states that only one letter of objection was received, regarding the land ownership notification and certificates allegedly not being filled out correctly so the application should be invalidated, and that the application would result in the loss of another pub in Tranent.

Responding to the letter, the officer said: “The agent confirmed that the applicant was not the sole owner of the land within the application site and that the relevant land ownership notification had been carried out.

“The matter regarding the loss of a number of traditional pubs in Tranent, whilst unfortunate, is not in itself a material consideration in the determination of this planning application.”

One letter of representation was also received that made no objection to the application but made comments on the conditions of the toilets on Plough Lane.

Tranent and Elphinstone Community Council did not comment on the plans.

The planning officer said that the restaurant “will be acceptable in principle” and that a change of use from retail, business or leisure use to another would be supported.

They added that changing from a pub into a hot food takeaway “would not result in the loss of a town centre use and would not impact on the vitality and viability of Tranent town centre” and it would not have “significant impact on the local amenity of the area”.

Colin McGinn, Tranent ward councillor, said: “While it is disappointing to lose another public house or bar, and we are losing them at an alarming rate, we can’t have buildings lying empty on High Street for periods of time.

“I believe that the business will be well run and the people behind it are well respected.

“I am glad [the pub building] is being brought back to life.”