Opening hours extension for Horsham pizza shop refused

Plans to extend opening hours for pizza shop refused by councillors,  exterior shot Pizza Plus, Lambs Farm Road, Roffey. Pic Steve Robards SR1827238 SUS-180810-154914001
Plans to extend opening hours for pizza shop refused by councillors, exterior shot Pizza Plus, Lambs Farm Road, Roffey. Pic Steve Robards SR1827238 SUS-180810-154914001

A Horsham pizza shop won’t be able to grab an extra slice of business after an application to extend its opening hours was refused.

The application, for Pizza Plus, in Lambs Farm Road, was turned down at a meeting of the district council on Tuesday October 2 because of the impact it would have on neighbouring houses.

The shop is currently open from 9am-10pm Monday to Saturday. The application asked for those hours to be extended to 11pm Monday to Saturday, while adding 9am-10pm on Sunday and Bank Holidays.

The application attracted six letters of objection from neighbours and a 156 signature petition of support, largely from customers.

Neighbour LJ Daniels described problems with noise, smell, traffic and the antisocial behaviour of some customers, relating one incident which ended with police being called.

He told the meeting he had reported smells coming from the property 270 times since 2016, adding that the council’s environmental health team had told him that Pizza Plus ‘could not prove they had ever changed the carbon filters on their extraction system’.

Calling the application ‘vexatious’, Mr Daniels added: “We have had the relentless stink of cooking in our garden, lounge, bathroom, bedrooms ever since Pizza Plus started.”

Speaking for the applicant, Duncan Craig told the meeting that £30,000 had been spent on a ventilation and extraction system.

He added that the proposed opening hours would be a ‘modest extension’ to those currently allowed and described the application as ‘reasonable and proportionate’.

It was not a view shared by Jonathan Dancer (Con, Roffey North), who was highly critical of the application, adding: “The fact that it was approved in 2011 in a place where it should never have been, is no reason to compound the error that we’ve made.

“And if we want to be seen as something other than a faceless council that just sticks with the bureaucracy, a council where we listen to our residents and we try to do the best for them then I really hope that we can vote against this application.”

Mr Dancer was supported by most of his fellow councillors.

Peter Burgess (Con, Holbrook West) said the extra 17 opening hours each week would be ‘one hell of a lot for the local people to sustain or manage’.

The application was refused because of the ‘undesirable environmental impact’ it would have on residents.

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