Flat plan for village café approved amid takeaway concerns

Deli @ 65 in Sutton, Cambridgeshire

Plans to build a flat on top of Deli @ 65 in Sutton have been approved despite concerns from residents and the parish council that it could be turned into an Indian takeaway. - Credit: Lorna Dupre

Plans to build a flat on top of a village café have been approved despite strong concerns that it could be turned into a takeaway. 

Planners at East Cambridgeshire District Council said Deli @ 65 in Sutton “is not seeking a change of use to a takeaway and will be maintaining the existing use with an ancillary takeaway”. 

Zahid Ahmed of Six and Five Developments wants to extend the existing building at 65 High Street to add a first floor above the existing café and delicatessen. 

As well as creating a three-bedroom flat, Mr Ahmed wants to install a new ducting system and odour control measures. 

He also wants to change the opening hours from 12-11pm every day, which raised concern amongst parish councillors and residents. 

Sutton Parish Council, who oppose the plans, said “extending the opening hours would have a significant adverse impact on local residential amenity. 

“Given the PM opening hours proposed, it does seem clear that what is being proposed is an Indian restaurant/takeaway rather than a village café.” 

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The parish council also argued that equipment needed by Mr Ahmed such as an Indian cooker and tandoor suggest it is a “takeaway food kitchen layout”. 

A resident said an extension on opening times and equipment needed “seem more geared towards hot food takeaway than a café”. 

Another thinks longer opening hours at the premises, located near two existing takeaways on High Street, would “make night time disturbance worse”. 

Cllr Lorna Dupre of East Cambs Council

Cllr Lorna Dupre, district councillor for Sutton, has highlighted her concerns about plans for Deli @ 65. - Credit: Lorna Dupre

Lorna Dupre and Mark Inskip, Sutton district and county councillors, believe extending opening hours would lead to “very significant additional pressures” on parking. 

Earlier this year, an application to change Deli @ 65 into a hot food takeaway in line with plans to build a flat were withdrawn. 

In 2013, permission was granted for the premises to operate as an ancillary hot food takeaway, selling items such as sausage rolls, soup and sandwiches. 

Councillors said the hours are “not considered to be out of character with the surrounding commercial premises or the use class already permitted for the site. 

“There is nothing within the application to evidence a change of use and the applicant has confirmed the mixed use will be retained.” 

Councillors approved the plans subject to permitted opening hours being 12-9.45pm Sundays to Thursdays and 12-11pm Fridays to Saturdays.