Controversial plans for outdoor seating at a Sheffield restaurant have been approved, despite fears it will increase noise and attract vermin.
The owners of Lavang got the go-ahead to install wooden decking in front of the Indian eatery on Fulwood Road, in Nether Green, to accommodate extra diners.
Councillors approved the application at yesterday’s planning committee meeting, on the condition the outdoor seating is only used between midday and 9pm, rather than until 11pm as originally requested.
Planning officers had received 26 objection letters from local residents and just one supporting the proposals.
Opponents argued it would generate extra noise, smells and congestion, exacerbate existing parking and food dropped on the ground could attract vermin.
“The decking would be likely to be busiest during warm weather when local residents would be more likely to have windows open, exacerbating noise problems,” wrote one objector.
Another commented: “Food may be able to fall between the gaps of the decking and may lead to vermin."
But planning officers, who recommended the decking be approved, said other nearby establishments, like The Rising Sun pub, already had outdoor seating areas.
The extra capacity should not lead to significantly greater cooking smells or waste, they stated, and proper maintenance and food hygiene could prevent the site attracting vermin.
The restaurant’s co-owner AJ Ali had insisted the restaurant would generally maintain its normal hours - from 5.30pm-10.30pm between Sunday and Thursday, and up to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays – despite the new request to start at noon.
He said the provision to use the decking from noon would give it the ‘flexibility’ to begin serving earlier in warmer weather if people wanted to use the restaurant for a party, for example.
A handful of residents had unsuccessfully opposed plans, passed in January, to grant Lavang a licence to serve alcohol and play music.
They argued then that a previous restaurant at the site, called Panahar, had caused significant noise despite not having alcohol or music licences.