Indian restaurant extension plans don’t curry favour with residents



Families living near a Staffordshire Moorlands Indian restaurant have voiced their concerns about plans to extend it.

Pabna, on Ashbourne Road, Leek, has applied for permission to build a ‘first floor extension for dining area’ – along with a fire escape staircase and a new staff toilet – with the restaurant adding the extension could be booked separately for special functions.

However some families living nearby have raised concerns about the impact of the plans.

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council has received six objections from local residents, raising concerns about increased traffic, noise and loss of views.

In her objection Melanie Rowley wrote:  “I have a second-floor side bedroom window that overlooks the town and church spires, if an extension is built I will no longer see this, and it will block out what little light I get into the house.

“Furthermore I have extreme noise and smell from the restaurant slamming car doors, people shouting, revving outside my house, blocking my exits to my gates so that I cannot get out or in, I cannot get off my residential car park. it’s an absolute nightmare, I already cannot open my windows, or sit outside in peace in summer.

“I believe they would be better off moving to a less residential and larger premises.”

Luke Boulton wrote that he had a number of concerns ‘cannot believe’ the restaurant was considering the extension.

He added: “It is overbearing and out of scale. It is over development and overcrowding of a site that just does not have enough space already. I believe this is going to worsen parking that is already a serious problem to residents.

“How can I sell my house with an Indian restaurant balcony in the back garden? This will de-value my property considerably.”

In her objection Marian Mothershaw said she felt the proposed development would have ‘a detrimental effect’ on local properties.

She said:  “We are affected by the constant noise from the extractor fans from late afternoon till close In our house. When out in the garden we hear the fans and the working kitchen. If customers are allowed outside it will worsen situation.

“Would it be used as a smoking area? Parking is already an issue around here. An increase in trade will only add to the problem in the surrounding streets, causing more disruption for residents.”

Julie Westrupp said she wished the restaurant well but there was not ample parking in the area – adding it was already ‘almost impossible for residents to park if they get home after a certain time’.

In her objection she added:  “There is a large parking lot behind the Leek Health Centre which is not used at night – if they had an arrangement there or with the Premier Inn parking spaces I have no objection to their extension.

“But the Staffordshire Moorlands Council cannot keep approving measures which increase the pressure on parking space on Grosevenor, Wood, and Southbank Streets. The residents who live in this area deserve their needs to be considered.”

In a design and access statement accompanying the proposal the restaurant said:  “Pabna has been functioning as a restaurant since 1997 and since then has grown and become an established restaurant within Leek.

“Due to its success it is fully booked most weekends and Friday nights and is now in a position where they need to expand in order to cater for the demands of their clients.

“The application is to undertake internal alterations and extend to the first floor at the back of the property. This will provide the additional space required for the restaurant to continue to the high standards they had set whilst accommodating the high demand for their services.

“On first floor level there will be new dining facilities, which as well as being overflow dining spaces for busy periods, the space will also be used for private function, both for dining and other corporate events.”

The statement added there would be no changes to how the building looked from Ashbourne Road and the opening hours would not be affected as a result of the scheme.

The public consultation on the scheme ended on Wednesday, February 19.

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council planning officers are now set to make a decision on the application in the coming weeks.





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