Public toilets block to be turned into lobster shack

Plans to convert the toilet block into a lobster shack given green light.

Plans to turn a toilet block into a lobster shack will now go ahead after a successful appeal by a local businessman.

John Carswell submitted a £30,000 proposal to convert the former public loos at Arbroath’s Old Shore Head, near the town’s harbour, into a hot crab and lobster takeaway.

The plan had initially been recommended for approval by council officers.

However, in August, they were rejected by members of Angus Council’s standards committee, who said the scheme would blight the historic Fit o’ the Toon.

The unused toilet block is just one of a number closed by the local authority and put up for sale.

Carswell Properties Ltd took out a long-lease on the site.

After the lobster shack project was blocked by councillors, Mr Carswell appealed to the Scottish Government’s planning and environmental division in October.

Holyrood officials have now given their backing to the plans, paving the way for the development to go ahead.

Angus Council still has a six-week window to challenge the government’s ruling.

The proposals for the former toilet block include outdoor seating and the return of a public convenience at the east end of the harbour.

Mr Carswell said: “I think Arbroath would be ideal for a crab and lobster shack with the town’s fishing heritage.

“We would work with local fishermen to supply the shack.

“It’s a fantastic site.”

When he first tabled his application to change the use of the building he said the conversion would involve a considerable amount of work.

The toilets were closed by Angus Council in February 2014 as part of a cost-cutting drive which involved shutting nine public conveniences across the county.

An Angus Council spokesman said: “We note the decision of the reporter.”