Booze bid backed for new fish and chip restaurant

A family fish and chip shop will be allowed to serve alcohol after council chiefs gave proposals the green light.

Tuesday, 22nd January 2019, 1:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd January 2019, 1:43 pm
The new Bells fish and chip restaurant.

The newest branch of Bells Fish and Chips opened in Finchale Road, Framwellgate Moor, Durham, last month.

Based in a former car showroom, the premises included a restaurant as well as a takeaway and chain founder Graham Kennedy applied to Durham County Council for a licence to sell alcohol up to midnight every night of the week.

But under pressure from objections this was reduced to 9pm, with the premises due to close at 10pm.

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An application for a “late night refreshment” licence, which would have allowed food to be served until midnight, was also cancelled.

Following this, three of the four complaints received by the council were withdrawn, but one reamined relating to opening hours and the impact of increased traffic in the area.

Mr Kennedy was unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting of the county council’s statutory licensing aub-committee, but was represented by Tim Robson of TJR Licensing.

He said: “There’s a number of other licenced premises in the area which have later licensing.

“This is bordering on a residential area but this was a garage in previous days and the applicant feels they have put sufficient measures in place.”

The application was also supported by Coun Amanda Hopgood, leader of the council’s Liberal Democrat group, who had previously opposed the plans.

She said: “My initial objection was when the sale of alcohol was until midnight.

“But you cannot, in the premises, buy a drink and take it out, it is purely for sitting down to have a meal.

“It isn’t an alcohol establishment, it [the alcohol] is there to complement the food.”

No one appeared at the committee to speak against the application, which was approved by the panel.

The restaurant adds to branches in Market Square, Durham City, Sunderland Road, Gilesgate, and Craggs Road, Washington.

Mr Kennedy, who is as a qualified chef, launched his first takeaway at the age of 21.


James Harrison

James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service