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Protestors fight takeaway

PUBLISHED: 15:13 18 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:35 03 July 2010

Miles Jermy

HUNDREDS of Acle residents are backing a campaign to prevent the opening of a fast food restaurant in the village.

More than 300 people have signed a petition opposing plans for a kebab and pizza take-away on Old Road.

HUNDREDS of Acle residents are backing a campaign to prevent the opening of a fast food restaurant in the village.

More than 300 people have signed a petition opposing plans for a kebab and pizza take-away on Old Road.

Several protestors attended a parish council meeting on Monday which voted unanimously against the application.

Business partners Arif Katinc and Mahmut Polat have applied to open the restaurant from to 3pm to 10pm seven days a week. The property was formerly occupied by a pet shop which closed a few months ago.

Opponents claim a fast food outlet would be out of character, add to parking and litter problems and cause disturbances.

The petition has been organised by Ray Metcalfe, who owns the nearby Manor House bed and breakfast.

“Parking round here is a nightmare and other businesses are worried that kebab shop customers would park on their premises,” he said. “I am concerned that the late opening will cause disturbance to my guests and the petition shows that opinion in the village is overwhelmingly against this. I don't have a problem with a kebab shop opening in Acle - it is just in the wrong location.”

Parish council chairman Basil Tibbenham said it was the most controversial planning application in Acle for some time.

“Quite a crowd turned up to the meeting and everybody was opposed to the kebab shop and the people I talk to in the village all say they are against it too,” he added.

“There is a listed building next door and it would be very noisy for people living above the premises. A lot of concern was expressed that groups of young people would congregate outside the shop after school and during the evening.”

The application was also opposed by Charlotte Casimir, who represents Acle on Broadland District Council. A decision on whether to approve the application is due to be made by the council before Christmas.

Mr Katinc and Mr Polat already run a kebab and pizza house in Loddon, where they say they have no complaints from residents.

“Acle is not like Norwich where the kebab and pizza houses stay open after the pubs and clubs are shut,” said Mr Katinc. “We have been running a restaurant in Loddon for eight years and no-one has complained.

“This will create four new jobs and at a time when the economy is turning down new businesses should be encouraged. We will shut too early to cause a nuisance to other people, but I promise to close the restaurant down if there are any disturbances.

“Every single town in Norfolk has a kebab house; many people like this sort of food and the business would be an asset for Acle.”

A Broadland District Council spokesman said: “The application has been delegated to a senior planning officer for a decision and will not be going to committee. The consultation period on this application expires on December 21 and it is likely that the applicant will be sent notice of a decision before Christmas.

“The parish council's objection to the application was received this week. The council is also aware of objections from the highways authority, neighbours and local residents and on environmental health grounds.”

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