Sidmouth take-away gets early hours license nod

A SIDMOUTH take-away has won its bid to remain open into the early hours of the morning at weekends- despite concerns over potential public nuisance.

Pizza Pronto in Radway Place was this week granted a license to serve customers until 2.30am on Fridays and Saturdays.

An environmental health expert told East Devon District Council (EDDC) licensing sub-committee members earlier this month she feared late-night fast food hours could see the Sidmouth lumped with “an untold amount of problems” like neighbouring town Exmouth.

Pizza Pronto owner Yasar Oflaz asked licensing chiefs: “What’s the difference between Exmouth, Sidmouth and Honiton?”

The take-away, classed as a fast food outlet when its tables and chairs are removed, was also handed permission to remain open late every night throughout FolkWeek, and from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve.

Owners wanted to stay open until 3am but settled for 2.30am after talks with police.

“We just want to be given a chance,” said a representative of Mr Oflaz.

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An environmental health representative told sub-committee members she held public nuisance fears.

She said: “The precedent has been set in Exmouth and that’s why we don’t want to see it in Sidmouth.

“In Exmouth, fast food does cause an untold amount of problems. People coming and going, noise, light pollution and waste. I really do not want to see that in Sidmouth.

“We’ve had no problems and I wouldn’t want to let down local residents in the future. We have hard evidence in other towns. I don’t want to bring them into Sidmouth where they don’t belong now.

“To date, we have had no problems with this premises.”

Sub-committee chairman Councillor Chris Gibbings said: “We do want to see people in business making money, but not to the detriment of the public.

“We’ve got to give them the opportunity to earn a living in the same way as other areas in East Devon.

“We are going to grant the application…but if there’s any problems our officer will come back to the council and proceedings to review the license will begin.”