A RESTAURANT on North Berwick High Street looks set for a dramatic change, despite concerns from local residents.

East Lothian Council’s licensing board heard of plans proposed by Graham Langley and Liz Norbury to convert Tiger Coast Indian restaurant into a bistro and wine bar, which they plan to call The Puffin.

An application for a major variation to the premises’ alcohol licence was heard at a meeting of councillors in Haddington’s Town House.

Amendments put forward were to change the closing time to 1am on Thursday-Saturday evenings and allow off-sales – although Mr Langley and Ms Norbury, who live in the town, pointed out that these would only be for promotional events.

However, Suzanne Harley and Michael Balfour, who are neighbouring residents, voiced concerns over the proposals.

Ms Harley said: “We do have problem with noise at the back of the restaurant just now.”

But she added: “We met [with Mr Langley and Ms Norbury] and I am much more comfortable [with their proposals] now.”

However, they both said that they had a “real concern” about the proposed layout of The Puffin, and Mr Balfour said: “I would really have liked to have seen the plans – to know what is being proposed.”

Councillor Jane Henderson, ward member, agreed, but Niall Hassard, representing the applicants, stressed that there was, as yet, no planning application to show the licensing board.

A planning application will have to be lodged to and approved by East Lothian Council before the venture can go ahead.

Mr Hassard said: “The premises will remain in its current state through the New Year and it is estimated it will close for a full refurbishment in January.

“There is no planning application at this stage.”

North Berwick Community Council (NBCC) also expressed its concerns over 1am closing times, writing: “We understand that the terminal hour for similar properties is 11pm which we consider to be late enough, given the situation of the premises.”

Councillor John McMillan said he was “mindful” of NBCC’s concerns, but was happy to grant the application.

Members agreed to approve the variations, with a number of conditions attached – including that the licence starts upon Mr Langley and Ms Norbury taking on the lease of the restaurant; the licensing board is given a copy of the proposed layout for the new restaurant; that off-sales will be limited to promotional events and there will be no glass disposed of at the rear of the property between 10pm and 8am.