13:02 Friday 31 January 2014

Councillors fear Ta Bouche opening in Ely could create too much noise

Written byJORDAN DAY

The former Maltings Restaurant in Ely's Riverside. The former Maltings Restaurant in Ely's Riverside.

Councillors fear opening a cocktail bar and restaurant in Ely’s Riverside could create too much noise.

To date, not one resident has objected to Ta Bouche’s plans to take over the restaurant at The Maltings.

The firm, which runs a successful cocktail bar in Cambridge, applied for planning permission to turn the troubled Riverside premises into a restaurant and cocktail bar in December.

The takeover would involve the bar opening until 2am and new outdoor seating areas and a children’s play area being created.

However, members of the City of Ely Council are concerned about the effects the proposals, if approved, could have on nearby residents.

In a letter to planners at East Cambridgeshire District Council, Tracey Coulson, the city council’s clerk, said: “Noise from the use of the outside areas of the building is a concern and members felt there should be a time restriction on the use of these areas to prevent any noise disturbance to the residential properties in this vicinity.”

City councillors also say the proposed play equipment is “not appropriate for the size of the area”.

The Ely Society, a group which works to protect and safeguard Ely’s heritage, is worried about the impact the children’s play area could have on proposals for the nearby Maltings Cottage, which has been at the centre of numerous planning applications over the years, yet still stands empty.

A spokesman for the group said: “Although we are happy with the proposals, we wonder whether the children’s play area may conflict with forthcoming proposals for the Maltings Cottage.”

Residents have been calling for action over the former Maltings Restaurant for some time now.

The 120-seat facility has been closed since autumn 2012 and before that it was only open to the public for a few months in the year.

Bosses at Ta Bouche say there is a demand for the facilities they are proposing.

In their application, they said: “A demand has been identified for a successful food and drink venue along the river walk through the day and evening.

“The area is used by many tourists and families during the day. Ely does not many late night venues and so a cocktail bar until 2am is proposed.”

They added: “The outdoor seating area to the back of the building will be identified as a children’s area during the day and a play zone will be provided.”

The final decision lies with the district council.

To have your say, visit www.eastcambs.gov.uk.

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