A WHITCHURCH takeaway must cut back its opening hours after losing an appeal to keep trading late last week.

Charcoal Grill Pizza and Kebab shop will now be forced to close three hours earlier on Fridays and Saturdays and earlier during the week, after a government body has ruled in favour of a Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council decision back in March.

The council had refused the Church Street food outlet planning permission to stay open until 2am for weekend trade and until midnight in the rest of the week, citing ‘noise and disturbance’ impacting on neighbours and increased traffic as reasons.

The takeaway had been breaching planning consent to operate during those late hours as a different council department had issued the premise a licence to trade during that period.

In its decision to dismiss the appeal on November 14, the Planning Inspectorate said: “The main issue is the effect that varying the disputed condition would have on the living conditions of neighbouring occupiers in terms of noise and disturbance.

“The appellant has endeavoured to appeal to his customers to respect neighbouring residents. However, given the nature and number of objections, I have some doubt over the efficacy of printed notices and do not consider they would succeed in minimising harm in terms of noise and disturbance.”

The takeaway will now have to close at 11pm on Monday to Saturday, and close at 10.30pm on Sundays after losing its bid to stay open until 2am for Fridays and Saturdays and until midnight the rest of the week.

Charcoal Grill owner Mustafa Koc had previously launched a petition to “save the shop” due to concerns closing earlier would have significant impact on the takeaway’s income.

Mr Koc’s planning consultant Paul Flippance, of Inter County Surveys, said: “The restriction of the opening times may well result in the closure of the business, and the subsequent loss of employment. This is all because of two objectors with the support of local member for Overton, who doesn’t even live in the area. Perhaps a question to the local authority, why is the authority so against business?”

Since the appeal outcome a spokesperson from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council said the business must keep to the opening hours and the council will monitor its compliance.