£1m plan to build a new home for fa­mous diner

Own­ers claim ex­ist­ing diner near Er­rol is no longer fit for pur­pose

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS - PAUL RE­OCH pre­och@the­courier.co.uk

One of Scot­land’s most fa­mous road­side din­ers looks set to move to a new “fit for pur­pose” site.

A £1 mil­lion plan has been lodged to de­velop a new site for the Horn Milk Bar, 100 me­tres from the ex­ist­ing build­ing, with the ul­ti­mate aim to “sat­isfy the ex­pec­ta­tions and needs” of ex­ist­ing and fu­ture clien­tele.

The fa­mous road­side diner in the Carse of Gowrie is well-known across the na­tion and the pro­posed move will see the Horn Milk Bar’s iconic cow po­si­tioned above the front door of the new de­vel­op­ment on Er­rol Sta­tion Road.

Kenny Far­quhar­son, who helps run the Horn Milk Bar, said the time is right for the pop­u­lar busi­ness to re­lo­cate.

“We have re­alised for some time that the cur­rent facilities are no longer fit for pur­pose,” he said.

“There is no op­tion to stand still in busi­ness, so given our rep­u­ta­tion, al­lied to a prime site of land ad­ja­cent to the A90, this pro­vides a very ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity for the area – a ‘no brainer’ as some would say.”

Mr Far­quhar­son re­vealed the in­ten­tion is to re­lo­cate the cur­rent busi­ness on to the new 16-acre site, which is only 100 me­tres from the ex­ist­ing Horn diner, while con­tin­u­ing to “scope” the pos­si­bil­i­ties for the re­main­der of the land.

He stated “spe­cial care” and “con­sid­ered” de­sign has been taken with re­gard to the plan for the new build­ing.

“In­ter­nally, the build­ing will ori­en­tate cus­tomers away from the busy car­riage­way – thereby pro­mot­ing a wel­come respite,” Mr Far­quhar­son added.

“It will pay homage to our agri­cul­tural her­itage as well as es­sen­tially pro­vid­ing im­proved and ad­di­tional facilities.

“Ad­di­tion­ally, the in­creased area for car and coach, trailer and HGV park­ing has been care­fully de­signed to pro­vide easy ac­cess and exit, with the aim of im­prov­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence at the Horn for all driv­ers as well as the pas­sen­gers.

“The ul­ti­mate aim be­ing to sat­isfy the ex­pec­ta­tions and needs of ex­ist­ing and fu­ture clien­tele to the Horn.”

He con­tin­ued: “Fans of the ex­ist­ing Horn need not fear – it is be­ing re­tained as we are look­ing at al­ter­na­tive com­ple­men­tary use for the build­ing, and like­wise, the size of the leg­endary ‘be­he­moth’ ba­con rolls will re­main the same.”

The restau­rant was orig­i­nally es­tab­lished in 1960 as a “tar­tan shed”, with the ex­ist­ing build­ing be­ing built in 1973.

A re­port drawn up by Nick Brian, Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil’s in­terim head of plan­ning, rec­om­mends ap­proval of the £1m plan, stat­ing the pro­posal “does not con­flict” with the lo­cal de­vel­op­ment plan.

“It is clear that the de­sign of the pro­posal seeks to main­tain the vis­ual con­nec­tions and char­ac­ter­is­tics of the ex­ist­ing Horn Milk Bar to the north­east,” his re­port says.

“The main en­trance will face north-west to­wards the A90 with the iconic cow po­si­tioned above the door­way repli­cat­ing the de­sign of the ex­ist­ing Horn Milk Bar, which is clearly vis­i­ble from the A90.”

Mr Brian sug­gests the pro­posal will “di­rectly sup­port” a “longer term” fu­ture and more ap­pro­pri­ate lo­ca­tion for the re­sit­ing of the es­tab­lished Horn café busi­ness.

“The ap­pli­cant has ad­vised that the Horn presently em­ploys 12 cater­ing staff in the restau­rant and shop,” his re­port adds. Fol­low­ing con­struc­tion of the new fa­cil­ity to ac­com­mo­date 160 ‘cov­ers,’ it’s an­tic­i­pated a fur­ther 12 new po­si­tions will be re­quired.”

The plan will be dis­cussed at a meet­ing of the coun­cil’s plan­ning and de­vel­op­ment man­age­ment com­mit­tee today.

An artist’s im­pres­sion of the new Horn café, com­plete with the iconic cow.

Pic­ture: Kris Miller.

Above left: A map show­ing the po­si­tion of the pro­posed café. Right: Julie and Kenny Far­quhar­son, own­ers of The Horn, with a cow sim­i­lar to the fa­mous one that sits on the roof of the milk bar.

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