Published: 11:58, 18 January 2021
| Updated: 11:58, 19 January 2021
An Ashford businessman will launch his third restaurant in the town when a new American diner offering gourmet burgers opens after lockdown.
Burger Base is to fill an empty unit in Faversham Road, Kennington, despite concerns being raised by nearby residents over parking and smells.
Behind the new diner is father-of-three Ash Miah who runs the adjacent Kennington Tandoori and Cinnamon Spice at Eureka Place off Trinity Road.
His latest venture will see the former Essentials gift shop converted after plans were approved by Ashford Borough Council last year.
"The business will be mainly takeaway and delivery, but will also have an eat-in option," Mr Miah said.
"We'll be serving high-end, gourmet burgers and wraps, but will especially specialise in steaks and ribs."
Taking over an empty unit, the 18-seat business will add up to 15 jobs to the area.
"We'll be bringing this shop to life, as this shop used to be mostly closed," Mr Miah added.
"Once it's open, it'll give a new, more vibrant look to the area and create jobs."
During the planning application stage, those living nearby aired a number of concerns - most notably smells, noise and parking issues which could be caused by the new venture.
Being sited in the same parade of shops which also includes the Green Asian takeaway, Yingnan Wang – who lives directly opposite the unit – listed these potential impacts.
She said: "This particular part of Faversham Road has already got a Chinese takeaway and an Indian restaurant so the parking has always been an issue, specially in the late afternoon when cars park in the bus lane while people collect food or pick up dinners.
"If this place is turned into the third restaurant, the parking will be chaos for the nearby community.
"We are already suffering from the air pollution as the cooking smell from the Indian restaurant is very strong.
"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 another neighbour commenting that "it will result in Park Road becoming impassable and the verges and bus stop being illegally used for parking", Kent County Council officers disagreed.
ABC planning officer Katy Magnall noted: "KCC highways and transportation are satisfied with the plans and environmental protection have requested conditions to secure the provision and maintenance of the extraction system and guard against noise and vibration."
Mr Miah said: "A lot of people on that road complained and said they'd rather have an empty shop.
"I'm not sure why - they said the reason was traffic but I can wholeheartedly say there's going to be no more traffic than there usually is on Faversham Road.
"When we open, we'll be inviting a lot of locals to come down and sample our food for free and instead asking them to donate to a local charity which we'll choose nearer the time.
"We want to show that we're a part of the community, and that Burger Base will be a great addition to it."
The restaurateur has kept busy during the lockdown, donating more than 2,000 meals to homeless charities and the NHS.