Turkish restaurant plans for Daventry High Street approved

Plans to convert an empty shop on Daventry High Street into a new Turkish restaurant have been approved by councillors.

An image lodged by the applicants shows how the restaurant front would look.
An image lodged by the applicants shows how the restaurant front would look.

Members of Daventry District Council’s planning committee gave the green light to the application at its latest virtual meeting this week.

It will see the former Best Before It’s Gone store, at 68 High Street, become a new sit down venue and takeaway called Alacati, named after the Turkish town. It will neighbour the grade II listed Cantonese buffet restaurant The Water Margin.

The restaurant will be opened by the current owners of the Mosaic Grill, which is already located at 10 High Street. The application for the new restaurant was submitted by Mahmut Raydemir, who runs the Mosaic.

In a brief comment to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, he said that Alacati would be a ‘bigger, better’ restaurant with more dishes on offer. He said that lease issues with the current building at Mosaic Grill had led to the application being submitted – though it is not yet clear when or if the Mosaic will close and effectively move up the road.

The Mosaic states on its Facebook page that it is set to reopen on Saturday (July 4), having been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The application for a change of use for the building at number 68 was quickly waved through by councillors when it met using Zoom technology on Wednesday evening (July 1).

But Councillor Stephen Dabbs, although voting in favour of the scheme, criticised a planning document lodged by the applicants that said the new restaurant would ‘introduce a new cuisine’ to the town centre.

He said: “I’m in favour, but we have seen this before with takeaways and so on. There seem to be massive inaccuracies in considering what already exists. I know that competition is not relevant for planning, but it just annoys me that we haven’t got sensible statements.

“Councillors who are not familiar with Daventry High Street might get misled, there are several restaurants nearby, and we do have the Turkish restaurant already and a kebab shop. So that wasn’t an accurate statement. But as I say, I’m not opposed to this.”

No objections from neighbours or consultees were lodged against the scheme, which council officers state will ‘contribute to the vitality and viability of the town centre’.

It was unanimously approved by the councillors in a discussion lasting just over five minutes. Several other applications were also discussed.