Chatteris Indian restaurant loses Government appeal to retain rooftop smoking terrace

AN Indian restaurant will be forced to take away a rooftop smoking terrace after losing a planning appeal.

Businessman Viv Salisbury owns the restaurant at 8 Market Hill, Chatteris, and was told by Fenland District Council that the smoking area he created on the roof had to go.

Fenland Council began enforcement action which was halted pending an appeal but now a Government inspector has backed the council’s refusal to allow it to stay.

Mel Middleton says in his ruling that the open nature of the roof would enable customers to be seen by neighbours thus “compromising their privacy.

“In my opinion such a relationship has and would continue to have a harmful effect on the living conditions at neighbouring residential properties.”

Mr Middleton added: “The extensive area set aside for smoking, aided by the provision of tables and chairs, is likely to encourage and accommodate numerous people wishing to linger on the roof on warm evenings.

“This is likely to generate noise, which would cause additional harmful disturbance to the nearby residents.”

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The inspector says the wooden fence is “finished in a yellow stain and is particularly prominent and looks alien and uncharacteristic in this conservation area. In its present location it is also very dominant in the news from the nearby street.”

Although the inspector accepted Mr Salisbury planned to improve it, the new fence would be higher and as a result “would be more prominent than the existing fence.” It was not acceptable in a conservation area.

The inspector added that Mr Salisbury had disputed whether the smoking area needed planning consent in the first place but he said that since the applicant had freely made the application which was then refused, he had to assume he knew that it did.