Published: 05:00, 09 October 2021
A frustrated business owner has hit out after receiving a "pathetic" complaint about smells coming from his new US diner.
Restaurateur Ash Miah has been sent a letter from Ashford Borough Council (ABC) concerning a "cooking odour nuisance" at his Burger Boys site in Kennington.
The letter from environmental control officer Linda Spicer details a complaint from residents over smells emanating from the Faversham Road diner, which opened in the summer.
"The information I have been given is that on a regular basis, there has been a strong burnt oil/fat smell which is allegedly causing a disturbance from residents," Ms Spicer writes.
"At this stage I cannot confirm whether the complaint is justified, however the council does have a duty to look into all complaints received."
Mr Miah, who also runs Burger Boys' neighbour Kennington Tandoori and Cinnamon Spice at Eureka Place, says the complaint is "really unfair" and "pathetic".
"When I opened the letter, I had to stare at it for a minute, I thought that surely this is just someone with nothing better to do," he said.
"I understand the council has to take these complaints seriously but really they should know better, because they supplied me with the specifications for ventilation when I applied for planning permission and have inspected it since, confirming it met their requirements.
"The specifications they gave me are one of the highest, much higher than some other restaurants in the area, there is virtually no smell at all, let alone a fat or oil smell – it's simply not possible because of the ventilation.
"I've spoken to my neighbours and they have all said there has never been a problem with any smells."
Faversham Road's Yingnan Wang – who lives directly opposite the unit – listed a number of potential impacts last year.
“We are already suffering from the air pollution as the cooking smell from the Indian restaurant is very strong," she said.
“It runs into our rooms when we have the windows open and also in the back garden.
“Having another restaurant right in front of our property will just make it even worse.”
Despite the concerns, the scheme was approved by ABC and Mr Miah says he has received a great deal of support after sharing the most recent complaint on social media.
"I have had so many comments and messages about it, which has been very nice, there has been lots of support," he explained.
"We have even had a message from the mayor, Cllr Callum Knowles, so it has been really nice.
"It is a very tough time to open a business, so it's nice to get this support after something like that complaint."
An ABC spokeswoman said: “We can confirm a letter has been sent to Burger Boys to inform it that a complaint of odour nuisance has been received and will be investigated.”