Planners oppose restaurant application

PLANNING officials in Sheffield are objecting to proposals to convert a cafe in Abbey Lane into a restaurant with a closing time of 11pm, saying that the late opening could disturb neighbours.

At present the cafe is open from 8am to 4pm each day, but a new application for a premises licence has now been submitted which would involve converting the building into a restaurant seating up to 30 people.

The proposed new business would be open from 8am to 10.30pm Sunday to Wednesday and from 8am to 11pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

However, the existing planning permission for the building restricts its opening hours to 6pm Monday to Saturday, with no opening on a Sunday.

Phil Abbott, head of planning at Sheffield Council, recommended that the current opening times are adhered to and said: "I am aware that the premises are located within an area that includes a significant number of residential properties.

"I have concerns that there is a potential for noise nuisance to occur in light of the variation in hours requested. Patrons would potentially cause noise while arriving at the site. This would create substantial noise in relation to vehicle movements.

"Customers would generate noise as they disperse to their cars and any taxis collecting customers would wait near to the premises.

"The operation of the restaurant would also involve noise due to the use of commercial cooking equipment and staff noise."

Mr Abbott added that opening at the proposed times would be in breach of the existing planning approval and would be "likely to result in enforcement action".

A further objection has come from the council's environmental health department, which says the proposed layout of the restaurant is "unsatisfactory".

Councillors will decide whether or not to grant the premises licence to the applicant, Julian Evans, at a meeting on Thursday.