BUSINESSMAN Chris Townend was left “stunned” after residents blocked his plan for a village tapas restaurant.
He had wanted to build a tapas and wine bar next to the Co-op at Town End in Golcar.
But councillors knocked back the plan yesterday after residents in neighbouring homes complained that the restaurant would lead to parking problems and antisocial behaviour.
Mr Townend wanted to convert the single-storey Huddersfield Heating Services building into a two-floor tapas bar with room for up to 40 tables.
The restaurant would have been open until 11pm from Mondays to Saturdays and 10.30pm on Sundays.
Town End residents asked Kirklees Council’s Huddersfield Planning Sub-committee to knock back the plan at yesterday’s meeting.
Richard Rayner, who lives opposite the site, told councillors: “I’m concerned that diners on the upper floor could see directly into my bedroom and look down into my kitchen. I’m also concerned about an increase in noise, litter and traffic movements late at night.
“There is also the implication of antisocial behaviour.”
Jean Taylor, who lives next door to the building, told the sub-committee that a restaurant would effect parking on Town End.
“It’s very, very difficult to park, I have to go round the corner and up other roads. A tapas bar would not be convenient,” she said.
The residents were supported by Golcar Lib Dem Clr Robert Iredale.
He said: “The residents of Town End have to put up with traffic from 7am to 7pm. It quietens down a little after that, but not if a tapas bar was put up there.
“If you allow a tapas bar, there’s nothing to stop it becoming a curry takeaway in the future. The only hot food in that area should be the pies from the butcher’s.”
But Mr Townend said his plan had the support of the people of Golcar.
He told the sub-committee: “I’m speaking for the majority of people in Golcar who are excited about having this restaurant. It would create work for the construction industry and jobs for chefs and waiting staff.”
Mr Townend added that restaurants had helped regenerate other villages in the Colne Valley.
He said: “Please let Golcar have its own restaurant. We know it works because Slaithwaite and Marsden are now flourishing and have their old community spirit back.”
The sub-committee voted seven to four against the plan.
Afterwards Mr Townend said he was upset at the result. “I’m stunned, I think the decision was unfair,” he added.