Customers at Balloch’s Blue Lagoon chip shop will be able to enjoy their meals outside once again, after the council gave the green-light to a new seating area in front of the restaurant.

Blue Lagoon had previously operated a dining space in Balloch Square, however this was labelled “an accident waiting to happen” by council leader Jonathan McColl - with staff having to cross busy Balloch Road with orders.

As a result, the trial period was not extended, a decision a Blue Lagoon spokesperson called “extremely disappointing.”

Blue Lagoon chippy seating area
Council leader Jonathan McColl labelled the dining area "an accident waiting to happen."

However at a meeting of the local authority’s infrastructure, regeneration and economic development committee last week members gave the family owned chain - who took over the Balloch Road establishment from Palombo’s earlier this year - the go-ahead for a smaller dining area in front of the restaurant.

Four tables will now be placed outside the Blue Lagoon, with the agreement able to be terminated by either party with two weeks’ notice and initially running for a year.

Speaking to the committee, Blue Lagoon director Simone Varese said: “Since we opened up the feedback has been that people would like to be able to eat outdoors.

“We were very disappointed that we weren’t allowed to extend our trial across the street, as we felt it went well with minimal complaints.

“I really don’t see why you’d say no to this.

“If anything it’s going to cost us money.

“It won’t make us more.”

Councillor Jonathan McColl expressed concerns over the width of the pavement, however Stephen McGowan - solicitor for the Blue Lagoon - said that the area had been vetted by the relevant departments, and that there was space on the pavement outside the chip shop with the pavement remaining more than two meters wide.

Councillor Ian Dickson meanwhile outlined local concerns about litter.

He said: “It’s not my ward, but even I’ve had complaints from residents about bins overflowing and pest control issues.

“I’ve also heard that the operators have been dismissive of public complaints.

“I’m seeking assurances that these issues will just be teething problems and will be dealt with.”

In response, Mr McGowan said that Blue Lagoon would be “absolutely delighted to work with West Dunbartonshire Council on an ongoing basis” adding that the business “wants to be a good neighbour.”

Mr Varese said staff had been trained in aspects of waste management, and assured members “that won’t be an issue.”

The proposals were approved with Labour’s Martin Rooney saying: “This seems pretty straightforward to me, there are quite a few safeguards in place to allow us to get confirmation that there are no accessibility issues for pedestrians.”