PLANS to create what would be Southsea’s ‘biggest restaurant’ have been given the green light.
But if anyone takes the site on, they’ll have to close at 9pm on Friday and Saturday – the busiest nights of the week.
My client is in it for the long-term investment and they will be looking for a high profile operator which reflects the value of the building.Martin Critchley, of Martin Critchley Architects, based in South Street, Havant
Critics say the redevelopment of Southsea Motor Factors in Grove Road South will cause problems for residents who live nearby.
And fears were raised that the application submitted by Martin Critchley Architects on behalf of owners L.C Isted Trust contained ‘very little’ detail about what the restaurant would be.
Mr Critchley said that was because a restaurant operator has not yet been found – but planning permission was needed so the owners could go to the market and find one.
Portsmouth City Council’s planning committee, which approved the plans, imposed tough restrictions on the venue’s closing times to prevent late-night noise.
Members warned the plans would be approved by a national planning inspector at an appeal hearing anyway.
Speaking against the proposals, Tory councillor Linda Symes said: ‘It was said 80 people would be able to sit down and eat at the same time. At 80 covers it would become one of Southsea’s biggest restaurants. This is in very close proximity to residential properties.’
The restaurant must close by 9pm on Friday and Saturday evenings and be shut by 8pm during the rest of the week.
In a report, environmental health said ‘no detail’ had been provided regarding the location and size of the venue’s kitchen and ‘any proposed kitchen extraction equipment or other equipment, or hours of opening’.
Lib Dem councillor Lee Hunt said it was the wrong area for another restaurant.
Ukip committee member Colin Galloway said the applicants should go ‘back to the drawing board’ – before agreeing to the proposed closing hours put forward by councillors Aiden Gray and Scott Harris.
Mr Critchley said: ‘My client is in it for the long-term investment and they will be looking for a high profile operator which reflects the value of the building.’