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Restaurant supported despite earlier opposition by town council
Plans for a pizza restaurant were unanimously backed by Malmesbury town council’s planning committee, reversing a decision not to support it earlier this month.
About 30 members of the public filled the town hall meeting room on Tuesday to have a say on the proposal for a Pizza Primavera to open in the former Threshers wine shop in High Street.
The man behind the plan, Stewart Shape, who also runs the Wild Food Company, said: “We are going to great expense for a good, quality restaurant and we do not want to compromise on anything. My aim is that unless this is done absolutely perfectly I don’t want to do it.”
Concerns were raised from Michael Kneal, a single father, who owns a maisonette above the proposed restaurant, that poor drainage facilities, cooking smells and noise would affect his day-to-day-living.
He said he would be prevented from hanging out washing, opening his windows or sleeping peacefully with the noise of the washing-up area proposed directly below his bedroom.
With regards to concerns about noise, Mr Shape, a TV producer, said: “I’ve been in the music industry so I know about these things. To address the noise, we are building a shell within a shell.
“I guarantee we will make every effort to keep noise to a minimum.”
Kitchen ventilators would be put on the end of the building furthest away from Mr Kneal’s premises.
A Facebook campaign has been launched called ‘We support the Italian restaurant’, which has more than 600 members in support of the plans.
Coun Kim Power said: “I have looked around that empty shop and it’s run down and the front has started to go.
“It desperately needs somebody to restore it.
“I think it’s great a space that’s been empty for three years is going to be filled.”
Earlier this month, a minority of town councillors were criticised for voting against the application for a change of use from a shop to a restaurant, but now follow-up plans for listed building consent have been supported unanimously.
A resident who used to live in the maisonette where Mr Kneal resides said: “If you move in to a flat on a busy high street you have to put up with whatever happens.
“Threshers opened from 10am to 10pm and we just had to lump it.”