Controversial Honiton restaurant given green light

Plans to turn a vacant shop in Honiton into a restaurant have been given the go-ahead following an appeal upheld by the UK’s Planning Inspectorate.

Hannah Corfield

The premises at number 20 New Street, formerly Sparks shoe repairs, was bought by the owners of what was previously the Istanbul Turkish Restaurant opposite.

Plans to repurpose the building for restaurant use were refused by the planning committee at East Devon District Council in July of last year – citing that the proposed development would ‘likely result in harm to the amenity of neighbouring residents’.

Applicant, Mrs Hatice Oflaz, appealed the decision which was officially overruled in an announcement made last Friday (29 May).

The Planning Inspectorate stated: “I have found that there is no conflict with the development plan.

“None of the other matters raised before me, or any other material considerations indicate that a decision should be taken otherwise than in accordance with the development plan.

“The appeal is allowed and planning permission is granted for creation of separate ground floor restaurant unit and separate first and second floor residential unit from shop and living unit.”

Upon hearing news of the appeal decision; neighbouring business owner, Ian Priestley, has made clear that he is ‘unhappy’ with the overruling having objected to the original proposal.

His concerns remain ‘the effect of the development on the living conditions of neighbouring residents with particular regard to noise, disturbance and privacy’.

Speaking on behalf of Honiton Chamber of Commerce, Paul Fudge said: “Honiton has had some challenging times during the last few weeks and we at The Chamber are looking forward to welcoming all our shoppers and visitors back as soon as possible.

“Honiton has a diverse community and to have shops, restaurants and cafés that reflect this and any new business that comes to Honiton, or one that is expanding, can only be seen as a positive move towards keeping Honiton on the map, as a thriving market town that caters for all.”