CONTROVERSIAL plans to bring back a pop-up boozer in the Merchant City with space for 300 people have been knocked back by council chiefs. 

Owners behind Festival Village were hoping to return to the vacant space along Candleriggs Street at the end of the month in time for the easing of Covid restrictions. 

But residents, politicians, and business owners have hailed Glasgow City Council’s decision to reject the proposal, saying it would have been “detrimental” for the hospitality trade. 

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: War erupts in Merchant City over licence bid for 300 cover pop-up boozer

Brian O’Neill, who owns Fanelli’s in Merchant Square, said: “We objected to it from the beginning. 

“Given the year we have all had, we felt that it wasn’t right due to the climate that we are in.

“It was bad enough last year. 

“We, as business owners that have been established in the area for years, felt that they were rubbing their nose in it by resubmitting their license – which was only meant to be a one-off.

“It was quite gallant for them to come in and take all of the trade from the square in the first place when we were only trying to survive enough as it was.”

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Glasgow pensioner left with nothing after fire ravaged family home of 30 years

Festival Village opened for the first time last July and ran until late September.

Bar owners in the area previously hit out at the decision, warning that jobs could be lost due to a shift in footfall. 

Local MSP Sandra White has vigorously backed the city centre businesses, stating there was “no space” in for a large-scale pop-up pub. 

She said: “I’m very pleased that sense has prevailed. If it went ahead, it would have been detrimental for the area in the long-term. 

“It would have only been another kick in the teeth for the established businesses that employ dozens of people. 

“The comeback would have been detrimental for their livelihoods and the jobs that they have protected during this crisis.”

Glasgow Times:

Bosses behind Festival Village were hoping to operate on a 
first-come, first-served basis from 11am until 10pm every evening until August. 

Duncan MacLaren, chairman of the Merchant City and Trongate Community Council (MCTCC), added: “MCTCC and local permanent hospitality businesses welcome this rejection of the application. It means less noise for the residents but, above all, it means that locally-based businesses who have suffered so much during the last year will be able to recover all the more quickly with this decision.” 

Mr MacLaren added: “We encourage residents to follow the distance rules but also to enjoy themselves in our local bars and restaurants and bring them to life again.”

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “The board was concerned about the use of the system for occasional licences in this case.

“It was felt that the applicant should have pursued an alternative licensing process, which requires a greater degree of community consultation.”