Thursday, 03 December 2020

Councillors oppose ‘nightclub’ bid

A CHINESE restaurant in Henley has been criticised by town councillors for plans to become a “nightclub”.

A CHINESE restaurant in Henley has been criticised by town councillors for plans to become a “nightclub”.

Nuno Rosado, the owner of Chef Peking, in Market Place, has applied for permission to change it into a restaurant with music and a dancing area.

He also wants to extend its opening hours to 2am on Friday and Saturday nights and midnight the rest of the week.

Henley Town Council’s planning committee recommended that the application is refused.

Councillor Sam Evans said she was “really concerned” because a noise impact assessment report prepared on behalf of the applicant made comparisons to a nightclub.

The report recommended a lobby is created in the existing entrance to ensure one door is constantly closed to reduce noise. It said a noise-limiting device would be used for loud music or DJs and customers would be reminded to leave the premises quietly.

Cllr Evans said: “If you’ve got people coming and going or going out for cigarettes then the chances of both doors being closed all the time is minimal.

“I’m not saying it’s the same as Diamond and Pearls as that was in a car park. The noise issue wasn’t around there but it was going up and down Greys Road and fed into the town. Asking someone to leave quietly is all very well but 30 seconds later they could be screaming their heads off.”

Cllr Evans also questioned the use of the sound- limiting device for DJs, saying: “Surely if you go to that kind of event you want to listen to a DJ because of the volume, not at a reduced level.

“Why have those kind of performers in the first place if you are going to have the volume turned down? It smacks of a nightclub in the centre of town every night.” Councillor Martin Akehurst said the construction of a lobby was not compatible with a Grade I listed building.

Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak said: “The lobby area might stop sound this way but what about when the doors are open? We should flatly object to this.”

Councillor David Clenshaw said: “I’m appalled this could be another nightclub in Henley after the trouble we’ve had in recent years with the other premises.”

Councillor Laila Meachin said she had nothing against nightclubs or late opening but was concerned about such a business in this building.

The final decision will be made by South Oxfordshire District Council. Chef Peking had applied for a 3am closing time from Thursdays to Saturdays but this was refused by the district council.

Mr Rosado used to work at the Casa Nostra restaurant in Reading Road and then ran the Ko-Ko cocktail bar in Bell Street, which is now the Bull pub.

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