Ruddi's Bistro in Linthwaite told to address noise concerns - but can continue operating under temporary licence

Charity bistro went before Huddersfield Planning Committee after one objection to change of use bid

Ali Jones and son Ruddi
Ali Jones and son Ruddi

A charity's bid for its fundraising cafe and bistro faces another hurdle.

Ruddi’s Bistro must carry out further work to its Linthwaite venue to mitigate potential noise issues for the family living above.

Only then will Huddersfield’s Planning Committee rule on whether Ruddi’s Bistro, run by the Ruddi’s Retreat charity, can have its change of use to a mixed hot food take-away and drinking establishment.

But in a quirk of the planning system, Ruddi’s Bistro can continue operating as it currently does due to temporary permitted development rights that last for two years.

Planning agent David Storrie explained: “The fact is that under current planning legislation the government introduced to deal with empty shops, they can operate for a two-year period as a bistro opening seven days a week with an alcohol licence until 11pm.

“This property has the benefit of planning permission for A5 use (hot food takeaway) and tomorrow it could be turned into a takeaway. That would result in a lot more to-ing and fro-ing than a bistro and wine bar ever would.”

Mr Storrie went on to explain that the Ruddi’s Retreat charity – which funds breaks for families with poorly children - had come up with a “unique” revenue-generating stream adding: “This is having a positive impact on the charity on a regular basis.

“In a village centre there is a juxtaposition of residential and commercial and that is not uncommon, recently you approved a wine bar in Marsden with similar conditions.”

Supporter Michael Wray spoke on behalf of the bistro and charity, saying: “This is not for a nightclub or a pub, it’s for a charity cafe and bar.

“In the seven weeks the cafe has been open, it has received £2,000 for Ruddi’s Retreat and that helps 21 families who need a break to get help and support.”

Objector Timothy O’Reilly told councillors: “We’ve been asked why we’re against charity, we’re not, we support the charity and its fundraising, our only concerns are with the change of use of the building.

“The proposed change of use of the property as a drinking establishment is likely to result in noise, disturbance and nuisance to the detriment of my adjoining residence.”

During the councillors’ debate planning officers confirmed the venue has unrestricted use as a restaurant and cafe and it can continue to operate until February 2016.

Clr Mohan Sokhal, Greenhead Labour, said: “There is the amenity issue for the community but at the back there is a lovely family, I do understand their needs.”

Clr Mark Hemingway, Lindley Conservative, said: “We have to take this on planning merits and not the fact it’s a charity.” He asked if the application could be deferred for further noise issues to be addressed.

Councillors voted six to four in favour of deferral.

Ruddi’s Retreat, inspired by young cancer survivor Ruddi Waterworth-Jones, is a charity providing seaside respite for families with children affected by cancer, life-limiting illnesses and bereavement.

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