Plans to create an outdoor seating area as part of proposals to transform a historic kirk in Aberdeen city centre have been backed.
Greyfriars Church on Broad Street, which has lain empty since 2011, will be converted by the hospitality giant G1 into a “high end bar and restaurant facility” after gaining planning permission last year.
The firm separately lodged a change of use application to develop the outdoor public space at the front of the building on Broad Street into outdoor seating for bar/restaurant use.
Part of the side paving area on Queen Street would also be developed into outdoor seating under the proposals.
The plans show the outdoor area could cater for a total of 156 customers.
Greyfriars, which was built in 1903, has lain unused since the Church of Scotland decided to merge its congregations with that of Queen Street Church.
A decision report by planners said the proposals would “enhance the vitality and viability” of the retail centre.
It added: “The principle of development of pavement cafes has long been accepted by the council as an appropriate means of enhancing vitality and viability within the city centre.
“There would be no adverse impact on residential amenity, road safety, or on the character of the conservation area/setting of the listed building.”
Although the city council’s roads team has not objected to the application, planners said the proposal has the potential to inconvenience pedestrians by requiring them to detour around the edge of the proposed area.
Planners said as the precise layout and extent of the seating area is unclear and could inconvenience pedestrians unless reduced, conditions have been applied.
These mean the outdoor seating area cannot be created until a further detailed layout plan has been submitted to the local authority.
A second condition also states that all tables and chairs must be removed when the outdoor area is closed to the public and no parasols, shelters or patio heaters can be erected.
The report added that opening hours for the outdoor area would be considered separately by the council through the licensing and pavement cafe permit application process.