DC Casebook: Food and Drink Uses - Shisha cafe agreed to meet local need

An inspector has agreed to strike down an enforcement notice requiring a cafe to cease operating from a shop in west London, subject to limitations on opening hours and forecourt tables.

The mixed use included retailing, a cafe and a shisha smoking place. The council claimed that use of the forecourt by customers consuming food and smoking shisha pipes caused noise and disturbance to local residents and smells from smoking and burning charcoal. The appellants pointed out that there were no restrictions on the shop's opening hours and argued that restrictions could be imposed on the number of people sitting at forecourt tables.

The inspector heard that the use had generated a large number of objections and this supported the council's concern that the business was not operated in a considerate manner. Conversely, he discovered extensive support for the use, with shisha smoking popular with many in the local community.

Residents had to expect significantly higher levels of activity in a busy inner city location compared with a wholly residential area, he remarked. Given that activity at the premises was likely to be more noticeable at night, he decided that a closing time of 11pm on Mondays to Saturdays and 10.30pm on Sundays and bank holidays would strike the right balance.

DCS Number 100-069-316

Inspector Nigel Burrows; Hearing

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