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Lucia Wine Bar & Grill wins appeal on opening hours
A YORK restaurant and bar has won an appeal against a council planning decision which would have forced it to close at midnight.
A planning inspector has also ordered City of York Council to pay Lucia Wine Bar & Grill’s full appeal costs, saying he found there had been “unreasonable behaviour” from the authority resulting in unnecessary expense.
He said councillors’ refusal of permission had been against officers’ recommendations, which in turn had reflected advice from the council’s environmental protection unit.
White Rose (York) Ltd, owners of the restaurant in Swinegate Court, had appealed after the council last year refused a retrospective planning application for a change of use.
The company wanted a mixed-use ground-floor restaurant and firstfloor bar without having to close at midnight.
The inspector said the council’s view had been that the proposed operating hours – to 2am on Friday and Saturday nights – would lead to more noise and disturbance late at night and have an undue impact on nearby residents.
But he said the area was predominantly commercial in character, adding: “The living conditions of local residents are well worthy of protection, but those living in this sort of location cannot reasonably expect the same level of protection from noise as could be expected if they were not living in the heart of a major tourist city.”
Restaurant director Osman Doganozu said he was pleased by the decision but claimed he had been put through unnecessary stress as well as expense.
He claimed councillors approved another late opening application in the area only a few weeks’ later.
Mr Doganozu said: “We have invested in the area and created employment for 35, and would expect the council to be more supportive of local business.”
He said White Rose would donate some of the awarded costs, running to thousands of pounds, to a children’s charity.
Michael Slater, the council’s assistant director of city and environmental services, said: “In granting planning permission with conditions, members sought to protect residents from late-night noise and disturbance. In this case, the inspector upheld the appeal after the applicant modified the application to open between 10am and 2am on Fridays and Saturdays only, rather than every day.”
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