‘No’ to restaurant in former Honiton shoe repair shop

A bid to open a restaurant in a former Honiton shoe repair shop has been turned down by planners.

Proposals for the currently-vacant 20 New Street were rejected because of concerns over the impact they would have on neighbouring properties.

East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) development management committee refused the plans – going against the recommendation of the authority’s officers.

The applicant, Mrs Hatice Oflaz, asked for a change of use from professional services to restaurant and for a new rear access.

But members ruled the scheme ‘would result in harm to neighbouring residents by virtue of extended opening hours into the evening and from additional noise and disturbance likely from a restaurant use’.

They also said that the proposal ‘would result in overlooking and loss of amenity from the new rear access and from activity associated with its use’.

In correspondence to the council, Mr Muhammet Oflaz wrote: “I have been running a very successful restaurant directly over the road for the last few years.

“During that time there has never been any problems whatsoever with anything. There has never been any extraction problem, food smells, noise etc at all.

“I am moving because the lease has come to an end and therefore bought a freehold where I can continue to operate in the same manner and keep an existing business in Honiton which is much-loved.”

In a report to the committee recommending the application was approved, an EDDC officer said: “The proposal would not result in the loss of an existing retail use and has the potential to add to the vitality and viability of the town centre compared to the existing vacant unit.

“It is considered that the proposed use could be acceptability accommodated without significant amenity impact and would in addition provide an additional residential unit.”

Honiton Town Council had unanimously objected to the application.

Members said the proposal ‘would adversely affect the amenity of neighbours as regards privacy and the detrimental effects of noise and smells caused by the development’.

They added that the scheme ‘was a risk to the safety of neighbours due to its close proximity to residential properties’ and that it was ‘not in keeping with the conservation area’.

Honiton St Paul’s ward member Councillor David Barrow objected to the application.

He said: “It is not suitable for this building to be a restaurant. The back entrance, where most deliveries and waste will be moved, is uneven under foot and overlooked by a number of residential properties. It will not enhance their quality of life.”

The application for the new Honiton restaurant was refused planning permission by the development management committee on Tuesday, July 9.

Read more Honiton news here.

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