Restaurant refused permission to open new eatery in Honiton - just across the road from its old place

PUBLISHED: 14:09 19 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:57 20 July 2019

The former Istanbul Turkish Restaurant in Honiton. Picture: Google Maps

The former Istanbul Turkish Restaurant in Honiton. Picture: Google Maps

Archant

An award-winning Turkish restaurant has been refused planning permission to move to a new location across the road.

The Istanbul Turkish Restaurant in New Street, Honiton, had hoped to move into a former shoe repair shop after the lease on its current premises ran out.

East Devon District Council's development management committee refused the plans to change the use of the building at 20 New Street to become a restaurant, contrary to the recommendation of officers.

Planners deemed the application of Hatice Oflaz acceptable and said it had the potential to add to the vitality and viability of the town centre, but councillors rejected the scheme on the grounds it would result in harm to neighbouring residents by extended opening hours into the evening, and from additional noise and disturbance.

They said the proposal would result in loss of amenity.

Mrs Oflaz, speaking in favour of the scheme, said that the restaurant has been extremely successful and has great Trip Advisor reviews and has won awards.

She added: "In those four years, no one has had any reason to complain about us. We do not sell any alcohol and do not encourage any drinking. We open at 5pm and close at 10pm. We are moving as the lease came to an end in the restaurant so we decided to buy the freehold of the building across the road and hope to move there. We are getting lots of emails asking us when we will reopen and I hope it will be soon."

Councillors were concerned about the scheme, with Cllr Colin Brown saying the current and former ward councillors were objecting as they felt the building was not suitable for a restaurant. Cllr Tony McCollum, whose day job is working at the town development manager for Honiton, said that while he is always trying to encourage new business in the town, as he used to live close to the application site, he was concerned about the noise and disturbance to residents this would cause. He called for the committee to reject the plans.

He said: "I just don't think that this is the right place for a restaurant."

Councillors voted by six votes to three, with five abstentions, to refuse the application.

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