A new late-night takeaway service has scaled back its delivery hours after neighbour concerns.
Canterbury is set for the latest addition to its offering after councillors granted a delivery licence to the Plan Burrito branch.
The boss of the St Margaret’s Street business chose to reduce the planned delivery hours after a neighbour expressed fears of late-night disturbance
Plan Burrito was founded in Loughborough in 2015, and the award-winning franchise has sites in Scotland, Surrey, London, Ramsgate and Canterbury.
The Canterbury branch applied to open from 10.30am until 2am between Monday and Thursday, 3am on Friday and Saturday, and 10pm on Sunday.
However, prior to Canterbury City Council’s decision on the bid, a neighbour and city centre councillor wrote in to object.
“Residents already live with a combination of late night night-time economy related noise and early morning disturbance from commercial waste collections or street cleaning starting as early as 5am,” wrote neighbour Matthew Arnold.
“The trading times applied for will undoubtedly result in people congregating outside the premises, adding unreasonably to existing noise and disturbance,” he added.
Westgate ward representative and deputy leader of the council Cllr Michael Dixey (Lib Dem) wrote: “Much of the business will inevitably be takeaways with mopeds and other vehicles
used by companies such as Deliveroo resulting in late-night noise.”
However, when the council’s licensing committee met to decide on the bid on November 8 it was revealed both objectors had withdrawn their comments on the plans.
After reading the objections, the burrito joint’s boss instead amended his plans to reduce the hours to 10:30am - midnight Monday - Thursday, 1am on Fridays and Saturdays, and only 10pm on Sundays.
“The operation is a fast food takeaway business where the customer walks in, we immediately serve the customer, within two or three minutes customers will grab their food and if they’re taking away they’ll be out of the premises within three minutes,” boss Nitin Altukar told the committee.
“There will be delivery services provided by our delivery partners - Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats, mainly.
“The idea of proposing extended hours was to have great quality food until late because the other Mexican places in the town centre close early,” he added.
He explained the indoor seating area, where recorded music will be played, can host 11 customers, and that they have separately applied for an outdoor seating permit to host six others.
Chairman of the committee Cllr Mike Bland (Lab) said: “There’s clearly a concern about people being too drunk and therefore releasing themselves one way or another outside in that particular lane so if you have security staff there that will be to avoid that occurring.”
The premises will have SIA-licenced security staff on the doors from 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays and will conduct risk assessments to determine if they are needed on weeknights.
On music volumes, Mr Altukar said: “The volume of the music will be sensible for where customers staff and neighbours are comfortable and the music will be played inside the premises only.”
As a condition of the licence, Canterbury City Council’s environmental health department will determine and agree on a maximum volume for the music.
Cllr Bland added: “There’s obviously a concern about the amount of noise that mopeds make in these particular streets and there’s a lot of mopeds that travel into the centre for takeaway deliveries.”
Mr Altukar stressed they will ensure delivery drivers keep their engines off while in the narrow Hawks Lane next to the business for pick-ups.
The licensing committee decided to grant the licence for late-night refreshment and recorded music.
The eatery will be delivery only from 11pm every night.
Speaking after the meeting Mr Altukar said: “I’m happy with their decision but obviously I initially applied for 3am on weekends which because of some objections I had to revise and send the new amended hours.
“I would be grateful if I would have got the 3am licence, but I’m happy with this.”
He added he is working to a planned opening date of Monday, November 20.