THE decision to enforce the closure of a Shisha bar in Abbeyview is to be reviewed by Fife Council.

Action was authorised earlier this year after planning permission was refused and now the owners have submitted an appeal.

Buzz Shisha Lounge, at 22 Duncan Crescent, is understood to have opened in around July 2022.

In April last year Mr M Arslan, of Glenrothes, applied to change the use of an old garage, behind a row of shops and flats on Duncan Crescent, into a hookah smoking lounge.

Plans included indoor and outdoor seating areas, as well as a serving area and toilets, and a statement on his behalf said he wasn't aware he needed planning permission and, as the work had been carried out already, he put in a retrospective application.

Dunfermline Press: Planning permission for the Buzz Shisha Lounge was refused. An appeal has now been submitted. Planning permission for the Buzz Shisha Lounge was refused. An appeal has now been submitted. (Image: John Booth)

But Fife Council refused the plans, with residents submitting a petition opposing the lounge with 250 signatures.

They raised concerns about issues such as late-night noise and disturbance, road safety, anti-social behaviour and parking problems.

Planning officers backed the claims and in a report stated that whilst external alterations to the building "improved its appearance and general upkeep" of the area, the change of use of the property would have an "unacceptable impact in terms of residential amenity and road safety".

They added that the shisha bar would "result in significantly-detrimental" noise and road safety impacts on local residents.

The issue will be brought to Fife Council's Planning Review Body at a hearing on Monday.

In a statement, the applicants say the building has been "modernised" with an improved visual appearance.

Additionally, there will be no "loud music systems" or "sound producing equipment" other than a TV with the volume kept on "background level".

The premises will be restricted to 15 customers at any one time, using a one-hour slot booking system.

The owners add that the doors are always kept closed and the outdoor seating to the rear will close at 8pm.

Operating hours would be between 12pm and 11pm, Monday to Sunday.

The appeal statement continues: "As the plan shows the application site is surrounded by shops open at night and it is a busy area with people coming and going at all times, the difference with the application site is people are only arriving and leaving on the hour where at the other shops, customers are arriving at all times which can generate noise.

"There has been comments made about people loitering around the premises, the customers are advised to only arrive at their booked time slot and when leaving they are not allowed to loiter at the front of the building to minimise any noise to neighbouring properties.

"The customers using the Shisha Bar are of an older and mature nature and are not known to loiter and hang around buildings, there is a much greater chance of younger people loitering around the shops and making noise."

Addressing transportation concerns, the owners say they attempted to purchase land for parking from Fife Council, but were refused, and that the existing parking area is "not heavily used".

An attached petition to keep Buzz Shisha Lounge open attracted 257 signatures and there are six letters of support from other businesses, including from shops in the same area.

The applicants concluded: "Should the refusal decision not be overturned, it is most likely the building in time will fall back into a state of disrepair as there will be no use for it given that it does not have its own parking therefore planning permission would not be granted for any other use.

"There is the possibility kids will start hanging around it again causing noise and possible anti-social behaviour."