Indian street cafe Chaiiwala allowed to open late despite complaints of ‘horrible’ noise

An Indian street cafe in Nottingham has been granted an extended hours license despite the resident who lives above complaining about the “horrible” noise.

Chaiiwala, on Gregory Boulevard, typically closes at 11 p.m. every night, but recently applied for an extended hours license from Nottingham City Council.

The issue was debated at a lengthy committee meeting on Monday August 16, where a local who lives above the street cafe and Indian tea cafe objected to the plans.

However, permission to serve late-night refreshments until 1 a.m., closing at 1:30 a.m., has been approved.

A resident who lives in the apartment just above questioned the permit approval following the month of Ramadan (which took place from April 12 to May 12 of this year).

During Ramadan, she said the cafe remained open well beyond what was allowed and called the resulting noise “horrible”, leading her to contact environmental health officer Peter McEvoy to conduct an investigation. investigation.

Walaiti Rathore, who represented Chaiiwala at the meeting, admitted that the cafe remained open beyond what was not permitted and said: “There was an operation after 11pm, we put have their hands on it, but all of that has now been factored into this process, in the future it will not happen and the only times they will work are those that are working now or those that are part of this process. .

“Yes, they went beyond the hours they were allowed to work, but they have now spoken to the responsible authorities.”

The resident added, “For me, this was my tryout in this situation and that’s why I recruited Mr. McEvoy because I just couldn’t handle the noise and pollution coming from below.”

Islam Hussain, employee and shareholder of Chaiiwala, replied: “We are in fact a construction group, this is our main area of ​​expertise and Chaiiwala was an investment that we made as part of the smooth running of our business. construction.

“So naively enough, we weren’t experts in licensing or hours of operation, so when we got a communication from the board saying you were in [breach] of the licensing law, we have made an effort to reduce the hours to 11 p.m., seven days a week.

“I would like to apologize to the resident.”

As a result, the owners of Chaiiwala applied for an extended hours license.

During the meeting, Mr Rathore explained the reasons for the cafe’s extended opening hours and said: “There is no logical basis for denying the request.

“The issues in this case are straightforward, but I think it would be helpful for me to outline the context of the application and put it into perspective. The starting point to note is that it is not from an app for alcohol or regulated entertainment, it’s an app to cool off in the late evening.

“You may know that Chaiwala is the fastest growing global brand and you may know that by brand design and other factors, they have positioned themselves as a concept and a space for people. who wish to socialize in an environment free of alcohol and loud music and some of their stores nationwide have late night licenses which they operate successfully and therefore have a proven track record in this industry. “

Mr Rathore said they had made contact with Nottinghamshire Police and Environmental Health to come up with a suitable proposal.

Initial plans to open until 2 a.m. seven days a week were withdrawn and authorities eventually came to an agreement for a final proposal allowing Chaiiwala to potentially serve until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, subject to licensing committee approval.

“We also liaised with Environmental Health Officer Peter McEvoy and agreed to reduce the hours further,” said Rathore.

“And in fact what we did, we completely removed the request for late night refreshment between Sunday and Thursday and reduced the late night refreshment hours on Friday and Saturday to 1am.

“We also learned that there was only one objection complaint. A resident who lives above the premises in an apartment.

“We arranged and had a meeting with her with the aim of hopefully resolving the issue amicably.”

The resident was given the opportunity to make a counter-offer, but Mr Rathore said they had not received any official response.

Instead, she opposed the proposals, adding, “The noise is absolutely horrible and that’s why I wrote Environmental Health.

“There is a recording that was made. Last night I was woken up again. In the month of Ramadan, I ended up coming to sleep with my children. I shouldn’t have to do that.”

“I was attacked by clients who were in Chaiiwala, simply because I asked them to be able to move their car, please so that I could continue on my way.

“I was spat on, I was thrown coffee. Everything is in the newspaper with the police report where I reported it.”

Mr McEvoy, who was not speaking on behalf of Environmental Health but rather as part of his responsibility to investigate noise under the Environmental Protection Act, explained that the fundamental problem was that he considered the noise coming from the ground floor to be “loud enough to prevent sleep”, particularly impact noises which had been identified as the biggest problem.

However, Mr Rathore argued that the resident’s complaints “were not sufficient to influence a clearance decision” and therefore the committee should only focus on the issue of the pending clearance.

He added that the regulated premises would actually benefit the resident, adding: “She has chosen, and this is stated in her email to council, quite recently to live on one of the busiest if not the most heavily used mixed-use streets. busy Nottingham and the problems in the wider area have been there for decades.

“The resident should have or would have known this. All we ask you to do today is enforce licensing law and that is your concern today.

“There seems to be a suggestion that there might be a statutory nuisance which is dealt with under different legislation but which is not relevant for today’s purposes.

“These cases were thoroughly investigated by the police and the environmental health officer and yet they still supported the demand.”

After some deliberation, Councilor Toby Neal, chairman of the committee, said: “We agree to authorize this license, subject to the installation of a sign for resident parking.

“Allowing this requires the applicant to be much more responsible and I think this will reinforce all your concerns as they have to meet the goals and you have the right, like all other residents, to request a review if there is one.” evidence of a license violation. “

Another condition includes the need to install additional video surveillance in a timely manner.

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