THERE are fresh fears for the future of iconic record store Fopp after plans were submitted to turn the retailer into a Thai restaurant. 

A planning application was submitted to the city council last week to transform the retail unit on Byres Road into a restaurant. The application was validated on Tuesday.

A planning statement said: "The existing retail unit on the ground floor is currently occupied by a niche music, film and book store.

"Unfortunately it has not been trading viably and the owners placed the property on the market with the remaining portion of the lease in place to encourage new retail and other occupiers to buy the freehold or offer to lease the premises."

The Evening Times spoke to staff at the store on Thursday who confirmed that it was business as usual. HMV have been contacted for comment. 

The application, however, signals that Fopp could be in trouble again if city planners give the move the go ahead.

It comes after the branch was saved from closure back in February following an outcry from customers and musicians.

The Byres Road shop closed for several days as part of a deal to save the collapsed HMV and Fopp music chain.

It was one of 27 stores signalled for closure. HMV, however, successful negotiated to save the store. 

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Evening Times:

Edinburgh-based Ting Thai Caravan want to open up a restaurant in the premises. 

The property has been on the market since last summer according to the planning statement.

The statement adds that Colliers and later Culverwell had little interest from retails who wanted to buy or let the store. The applicant then purchased the unit and agreed to allow Fopp to trade at a reduced rent until January next year.

Sunrise Records, the firm who bought over HMV, previously hailed the decision to keep the Glasgow store open.

In his statement at the time, Doug Freeman, chief executive of Sunrise Records, said: "The only reason we were able to open this store was because of our loyal customer base and the landlord at Byres Road being willing to work with us to find a mutually beneficial deal. 

"We want to thank the landlord and our loyal customers for making this possible. We look forward to servicing this area for years to come."

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The planning statement added: "The proposed change of use of this unit will see the creation of a new dining experience on this vibrant West End road, which will further the range of attractions on the road, and will bring an energy to this particular street block which due to the lack of a range of outlets at the ground floor has never really functioned or contributed to the dynamic of the area."

Planners should make a decision by Friday, August 23.

You can see the application in full here  

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