NEARLY two years after a traditional wine shop closed in Devizes the building is set to re-open as a Chinese restaurant.

Wiltshire Council has given planning permission to Nigel Burton, owner of Zumi in Southbroom Road, Devizes, to make alterations which would allow him to move his business closer to the centre of town

Wadworth announced in January, 2018, that Edwin Giddings wine shop and cafe in St John’s Street was to close. This came a year after its former manager Colin Garrett, who had worked there since leaving school retired after 30 years.

Mr Burton is hoping that he can tie up the last few loose ends that will let him to open a 40 seater restaurant by the end of February.

He said: “The old Edwin Giddings building is in a much better spot for trade and as well as opening in the evening we will probably open lunch times as well with a different type of offering including dim sum.”

But some people living in flats near Edwin Giddings objected to the planning application as they were worried about cooking smells and noise.

Natasha Parris complained that an industrial fan close to her windows would cause a nuisance and mean she could not open her windows. She said: “Noise and smell will impact on our health.”

Richard Dunn said: “Most of the residents in 13/14 St John’s St work during the day and are at home in the evening when a Chinese Restaurant is most likely to be most busy. The consequent noise levels will not enhance the current peaceful neighbourhood.”

Michelle Wickenden said her main objections were noise from the restaurant, disturbance from people coming and going and smell.

But the Trust for Devizes backed the change of use and said: “We support introduction of a new use into these historic buildings.”

A design and access statement prepared for Wiltshire Council said the plan was to change the use of the building from retail to restaurant.

It said: “This is to allow Zumi, an existing and successful Devizes restaurant, to relocate to new premises in a more central location within the town. The proposal incorporates the provision of a new kitchen within the ground floor space. This would introduce a different type of retail activity within this part of Devizes.”

The agent also pointed out that previously Edwin Giddings had incorporated a café area where food was served and prepared. The report said: “This change would not have any adverse impact on the amenities enjoyed by the occupiers of adjoining residential properties.”

It said an extractor and fan would deal with cooking smell issues.