Concerns over loss of Reston’s ‘hub’

Councillors were split over an application to convert a former licensed cafe in Reston into a home when the planning committee met on Monday.

Owner Olivier Hofer had applied for a change of use to convert the ground floor space, most recently the Yummleys Swiss coffee shop, to residential use, a move opposed by many in the community.

Objectors argued the conversion would consign the village to having no licensed premises village ‘hub’.

Some argued Mr Hofer had not given the coffee shop the time to establish itself before closing after just over a year.

But Mr Hofer told the committee he had offered the premises to the community council as a community enterprise, without a response.

He added he had attempted to run various events to attract business, but these had failed to attract the necessary turnover, and support from the village had been poor.

East Berwickshire councillor Jim Fullarton was concerned the change would have a negative impac t with Reston losing a property that could reopen as a business.

He added that he felt someone else may be in a position to establish a successful business in the former Red Lion building, particularly with the planned opening of Reston Station.

“Sadly Mr Hofer seems to think it is not a viable enterprise,” said Mr Fullarton.

Committee chairman Ron Smith said he too felt the opening of the station could make Reston ‘more vibrant’ and a ‘more economically active community’, but said he felt it better that the building be in full use.

Councillors voted five to two in favour of approving the change of use application.