A SALTCOATS pub has been granted permission to extend the opening hours of its beer garden - after its owner complained about the "extremely frustrating" restrictions that were previously in place.

Elms Bar, on the corner of Raise Street, has a small outdoor seating area to the rear of the building which opened last year, however, North Ayrshire Council's planning department imposed conditions limiting the hours of operation.

Customers were allowed to use the beer garden between 1pm and 10pm on Saturdays and Sundays - but only from 6pm until 10pm on weekdays in a bid to minimise noise disturbance to the neighbouring health centre and nearby residential properties.

Joseph Fitzpatrick submitted an application in February this year seeking to amend those conditions to allow the beer garden to open from 1pm-10pm Monday-Sunday.

And the application has been successful, with no objections received to the proposals.

Mr Fitzpatrick previously said the beer garden has been "a great success" over the last year but the restriction on weekday opening times has been "extremely frustrating".

READ MORE: Beer garden opening hours could be extended to remove 'frustrating' restrictions

In a supporting statement lodged with the council's planning department, he said: "[We are] having to turn customers away on a sunny afternoon asking them to return at 6pm, which evidently they do not, which in turn has a negative impact on the business.

"The vast majority of my customers are elderly who are looking to use the beer garden in the afternoon for a coffee and a read at the paper.

"As a retired police officer, I have been very proactive in the operation of the beer garden along with both my staff and manageress and will continue to do so.

"My request for the change in opening hours would have both a positive impact on the business earning capacity during these extremely difficult times for the hospitality trade and also would be well received by our customers."

A council report on the decision to approve the request stated: "It is considered that the main issue is the potential noise impact on amenity as a result of extended opening hours.

"NAC environmental health has no objections subject to a 12-month monitoring period.

"A condition could be added to any grant of permission for a temporary time to allow appropriate assessment.

"It is also noted that the applicant has been in contact with the neighbouring health centre, who have raised no concerns regarding the extended opening hours."