A Caribbean-themed restaurant in Sheffield can go-ahead - but waiters will be banned from carrying food and drink on the stairs.
The Turtle Bay chain wanted staff to use a staircase to access the upper level of the former National Union of Mineworkers building on Holly Street in the city centre.
But health protection officers at Sheffield Council said the firm’s premises application was not acceptable, because of the safety risk posed by using the steps.
However, at a licensing committee meeting yesterday, councillors approved the chain’s move to Sheffield.
But they said Turtle Bay would have to install a food lift, ruling out use of the stairs for staff when serving meals and drinks.
Turtle Bay declined to comment on the decision, but said they would discuss the outcome and release a statement at a later date.
But representatives expressed disappointment, and said the use of a lift would ‘seriously affect’ how the site would operate under the current layout.
Council health officers claimed the staircase posed a ‘serious risk’ of potential ‘conflict’ between staff and customers.
Bosses of Turtle Bay and the council have been deadlocked over the issue for several months after previously agreeing to change other aspects of the scheme, including the location of toilets.
Licensing lawyer Anthony Lyons, on behalf of Turtle Bay said there ‘wasn’t evidence’ for the objection.
“If there was a objection from the police on the grounds of crime and disorder, they would produce evidence to back up their objection. There hasn’t been any in this case.
“We have had no problems with any of the 34 restaurants including the six that allow staff to use the stairs to transport food.”
Committee chair Coun Alan Law said: “We welcome this restaurant and we have a duty to keep the residents of Sheffield safe.
“So with that in mind we’re going to grant the license but with a condition. The condition is there no carrying by staff of food or drinks up and down the stairs and that a food hoist is needed to be installed in the premises.”
Lawyer Anthony Lyons, on behalf of Turtle Bay, said: “I hear the decision. We’re disappointed and we don’t know how we’re going to comply with that.”
Turtle Bay have the right to appeal to Sheffield Magistrates’ Court within 21 days of the decision.