Monday, 15 August 2022

Restaurant decking to stay open for longer

A HENLEY restaurateur has won permission to extend the opening hours of his outdoor terrace.

Shaun Dickens, who runs Shaun Dickens at The Boathouse in Station Road, is now allowed to use the decked area overlooking the river until 9pm to serve pre-dinner drinks.

He was not allowed to use it after 6pm under the planning permission granted when the former boathouse was first turned into a restaurant in 2008 to prevent residents in neighbouring Boathouse Reach being disturbed.

Mr Dickens, who had a similar request turned down two years ago, had claimed the restriction has cost him business.

But South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, has now granted temporary permission for one year.

Officer Caitlin Phillpotts said the proposed use would be “acceptable in terms of its relationship to the evening economy of the market town, the existing use of the site and the surrounding banks of the river Thames.”

She added: “It is also acceptable in terms of its impact on neighbouring amenity.”

There were 45 comments supporting the application, but four from neighbours objecting, raising concerns of potential noise disturbance and odour from smokers using the decked terrace.

Last month, Henley Town Council’s planning committee recommended that the application was refused but two weeks ago members changed their minds after being asked to reconsider by the district council.

Chairman Ken Arlett said there would be no noise from inside the restaurant as the doors would be closed and people would not be allowed to smoke on the decking.

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