Published: 06:00, 08 April 2021
| Updated: 08:30, 08 April 2021
Plans to open a new restaurant in a town's former Jobcentre have been unanimously refused amid fears the outside dining area would have a “serious negative impact” on nearby residents.
Popular Kent-run firm A La Turka was expected to get its proposals rubber-stamped at a planning committee meeting after city council officers recommended the scheme for approval.
But councillors were not won over by the vision for the county’s fifth branch of the restaurant chain, and agreed to throw out the project.
Applicant Mehment Dari, who runs the other A La Turka sites in Canterbury, Herne Bay and Ramsgate, was hoping to open the Whitstable eatery later this year.
Yet his plans have now been stopped in their tracks and he will need to go back to the drawing board.
Dozens of residents lodged objections against the High Street proposals, citing concerns over increased noise, loss of privacy and an existing over-saturation of restaurants in the town centre.
Speaking against the plans at last Tuesday’s planning committee meeting, neighbour Jack Tuckwood said: “This residential area houses mostly retired and semi-retired people who enjoy the surprisingly peaceful surroundings
“A large noisy restaurant suddenly appearing will certainly disturb their happy and content lifestyle.”
A three-metre high awning was proposed to cover the outside area, which would have catered for a large number of customers.
Cllr Neil Baker said: “This is almost entirely geared up to outside eating
“That means lots and lots of people in outside area in a close proximity to a residential area.
“It’s a little bit too much.
“It does sadden me to say that because the other operations the applicant has elsewhere in the district offer incredibly good food and surroundings.”
Had it been given the go-ahead, A La Turka would have been open from 10am every day, closing at midnight Monday to Thursday, and 1am from Friday to Sunday.
Cllr Chris Cornell said: “While we welcome the opportunity to see the old Jobcentre brought back into use, the proposed rear garden will have an unacceptable effect on the living conditions of neighbours and is not in-keeping with the character of the area.”
He added: “In short, it is a step too far.”
All 10 voting councillors opted to refuse the plans.