New restaurant approved for city

FEARS about drug taking, antisocial behaviour and noise disturbance were dismissed as "scaremongering" as a planning committee approved a new Turkish restaurant in Salisbury city centre.

The Old George Brewery in Rollestone Street is currently an empty office building and Bruce Cifci applied to open a restaurant there.

But residents living in Three Cuppes Lane raised concerns about smokers congregating in the street outside their windows and cars coming and going until late at night as well as delivery vehicles. In total, 19 households objected to the plans, raising concerns with Wiltshire Council’s southern area planning committee on Thursday.

The objectors said it would change the nature of a predominantly residential street, but Scot Masker, speaking on behalf of the applicant, said the listed building was historically used as an inn and the layout is not particularly suited to being an office or residential building.

Ward Councillor Helena McKeown, who is also a doctor at the neighbouring Three Swans Surgery, said there are problems with drug dealing in an alleyway by the surgery and suggested more people would bring more problems.

She said it could provide too much temptation for recovering addicts at John Baker House, a supported housing scheme nearby. "I don't think it's helpful for my recovering drug and alcohol addicts or my patients or my residents," she said.

The application split the committee, with Cllr Fred Westmoreland using his casting vote to pass it.

He said: "That area is in need of serious improvement and the way you do that is by populating it with businesses. I admire anybody who is prepared to take it on. You're not arguing because of planning reasons, but because of scaremongering and a vision of Salisbury I don't agree with. This could clean that corner up."

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