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Green Owl Cafe owner defends plans against Buckhurst Hill objectors
An independent cafe owner has defended a bid to extend his opening hours, claiming he needs ‘a level playing field’ with competitors in the area.
A total of five households have registered objections to an application by Marc Linch of The Green Owl cafe in Queens’ Road, Buckhurst Hill, to stay open until 11.30pm.
They fear late-night noise and disruption from the cafe’s garden, but Mr Linch warned small business must be given the best chance to compete for customers.
Nearby chain restaurant Prezzo stays open until 11.30pm, and Mr Linch argues his business should be treated in the same way.
Buckhurst Hill Social Club, in Queens Road, is open until 12.30am at weekends and has a license to play live music until 11.30pm.
The 42-year-old said: “The decision will dictate whether this area is going to encourage the growth of independent retailers or if it will go the way of a lot of other high streets with the same national chains.
“Most restaurants take most of their money in the evenings. We are just asking to have a level playing field so we can compete.”
A family living at 11 Princes Road wrote: “We are a family with two children and the business will be a noise nuisance if allowed to operate later on.”
“[Later opening hours] will have a detrimental impact on the peaceful enjoyment of our home and garden.”
Occupants of number 21 said: “If the planning restriction on opening hours is removed there is nothing to stop the venue operating more in the style of a bar and the garden being used in the manner of a beer garden.
“The combination of people drinking alcohol and using the garden till 11.30 pm would result in significant noise disturbance to those of us in Princes Road.”
A decision is due to made on the application on Wednesday.
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