Another restaurant is to open in Leamington town centre - but residents who live close to it have resolved to carry on campaigning against the area becoming a hub for eateries.
New River Retail has gained consent to convert an empty shop in Regent Court - in which this year a new Nando’s restaurant opened - into a branch of the Caribbean restaurant chain Turtle Bay, which would employ 55 people.
The company has stated that it will use ‘acoustically absorbent’ materials in the construction of the restaurant’s entrance to minimise noise and the building would be soundproofed.
In its planning application statement, the firm also stated that the restaurant’s management would work with residents in the surrounding homes to ensure that noise levels are kept to a minimum during closing time at the end of each evening.
But nine neighbours formally objected to the plan and spoke about their objections to district councillor Jerry Weber, who represents the Clarendon ward of the town. He said: “They are mainly concerned about noise at night when people are leaving the restaurant, particularly in the summer when there are people sitting outside. Already with the restaurants that are there, residents say that they cannot leave their windows open in the summer as the noise is so loud.”
The Courier has also received several letters from people who live in Regent Court complaining about the idea of bringing more restaurants to the court and the perceived disturbances they will bring.
Now that consent has been given for the Turtle Bay restaurant, the group is focusing on objecting to another application to by GL Hearn to convert two empty shops in Regent Court into one big restaurant - which, as we reported in November, reliable sources have suggested may be a Jamie Oliver franchise.
In its application, GL Hearn points towards studies that have concluded that cafes and restaurants are, in the current economic climate, much more successful than retail outlets and important for town centres.
Its statement reads: “Wagamama, which sits on the Parade side of Regent Court, has experienced a staggering success of trade.
“The latest annual report by management consultants Allegra Strategies states that restaurants and coffee shops are in fact the main focal point of the High Street as they are now highly desired destinations for meeting people and socialising.”
But the application, which was only submitted a few weeks ago, has already received 24 objections.
It has not at this stage been confirmed that the restaurant will be occupied by a Jamie Oliver franchise. Sources have also told the Courier that it is expected that Regent Court is to be converted into a ‘hub’ for food establishments.
To view or comment on the application, visit www.warwickdc.gov.uk and search for the application using the reference number: W/13/1578.