Floating restaurant bid may be sunk

PUBLISHED: 13:14 07 December 2006 | UPDATED: 13:39 04 May 2010

PETITION: Patricia Beattie at the proposed site of a new floating restaurant.
Photo: HELEN DRAKE

PETITION: Patricia Beattie at the proposed site of a new floating restaurant. Photo: HELEN DRAKE

OUTRAGED homeowners and businesses say they are determined to blow plans for a 60-seat floating restaurant out of the water. As reported in last week s Ely Standard, two local entrepreneurs have made an application to convert a 20m Dutch barge into a res

OUTRAGED homeowners and businesses say they are determined to blow plans for a 60-seat floating restaurant out of the water.

As reported in last week's Ely Standard, two local entrepreneurs have made an application to convert a 20m Dutch barge into a restaurant to be moored at Ely's waterside.

But furious residents may have already scuppered the plans by organising a petition opposing the project, which they say would vastly devalue their homes, stretch parking to breaking point and attract anti-social behaviour.

Waterside resident Patricia Beattie was furious when she received a letter from the district council asking her opinion on the project, and set about collecting 41 signatures from fellow residents.

"Our houses are only 20 to 30 yards from the water, and this boat will be moored, meaning we will subjected every day to noise, music and light pollution.

"Parking is at a premium as it is around this area of the waterfront."

The application states the restaurant would be open seven days a week between 10am and 10pm, and would seat 40 people most of the year with an additional 20 seats on-deck during the summer months.

Mrs Beattie said she organised the petition because she felt not enough residents had been consulted.

A district council spokesman said 17 interested parties had been written to and posters had been put up in the area to alert residents.

"We would welcome any views or thoughts people have on the proposal - please contact us on 01353 665555 and ask to speak to somebody in the planning department," the spokesman said.

Lilija Povepaiko, who along with partner Arturas Tamosaitis put in the application, said the couple have other business interests they wish to pursue before turning their attentions to the restaurant.

"Right now, it is not one of our priorities," she said.

The application has raised concerns about the future of Ely's riverside, and residents and businesses have said there is already enough business there.

Steve Haslam, landlord at The Cutter Inn, said: "Things like floating restaurants will turn the area into 'Blackpool' - the waterfront has an air of sophistication about it that should be preserved.

"We are having a £10,000 CCTV system put in place after chairs and tables were thrown into the river and some

residents' properties were damaged. This will only attract more of this behaviour."

Chairman of the Ely Perspective Riverside Group, William Burton, has said the barge would eat up already over-stretched mooring space.

"We would actively encourage local business and people enjoying the river, but it has to be in the right location, and this application raises real concerns," he said.

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