Dundee bakery Clark’s has succeeded in its bid to open a Kingsway shop – with approval prompting one councillor to storm out of the chamber.
Councillor Ken Lynn was among seven elected members who had agreed with the view from planners that the shop would hurt high streets and the city centre.
He seconded a motion put forward by planning convener Will Dawson to reject the plans for the takeaway and cafe at Myrekirk.
However, 16 councillors voted in favour in what they said was a vote for local jobs and a local business, granting approval by 16-7.
When it became clear that the plans were going to be approved, Mr Lynn stood up and swiftly departed from the room, missing the remainder of the meeting.
The councillor, whose Maryfield ward includes the city centre and Albert Street in Stobswell, said he had tried to defend high streets against what he called the “drip, drip, drip” of approvals for out-of-town developments.
“It is disappointing when councillors tear up the development plan they agreed to and ignore Town Centres First,” he said, referring to the policy meant to favour high streets over retail parks.
However, council leader John Alexander, who voted for the plans, said members had the ability to challenge their own policies.
“Ultimately the recommendation that comes forward from council officers is on the back of the development plan – which was approved by councillors,” he said.
“(This proposal) deviates from that – but I don’t see this having a significant detrimental effect on town centres and the city centre.”
Councillors spent 90 minutes debating the Clark’s application following deputations from owner Jonathon Clark and planning agent Peter Inglis, who said the shop would create 20 jobs on-site and another 10 across the company.
Alan Clark, Jonathon’s father and the previous owner of the bakery, said the decision was a “game-changer” for the firm – albeit a nervous foray into new territory.
“When I was first shown the plans I was cynical about it – but the more I thought about it the more sense it made,” he admitted.
“We’ve got a traditional product from Dundee – not the same stuff you get in all the big places. You can only get this in Dundee.”
Stewart Hunter, Mark Flynn, Anne Rendall, Christina Roberts and Lord Provost Ian Borthwick also voted against the plans.