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Anger as council orders Turkish Kitchen to remove outdoor seating

'One planner should not be able to jeopardise someone’s business' claim

04 July, 2017 — By Dan Carrier

Ritza Yigit with the offending tables and chairs at his Turkish Kitchen

A POPULAR café in Dartmouth Park has been told by Camden Council they must remove an outdoor seating area as it breaks planning rules.

The Turkish Kitchen in York Rise has a terrace with tables and chairs for diners and despite support from the Dartmouth Park conservation area advisory committee (CAAC) and neighbours, the Town Hall say it was built without permission, detracts from the street’s look and must be removed.

Owner Riza Yigit told the New Journal he had written to the planning department in September to ask if he needed permission but never got a reply so, as it was on his own land and he believed was an improvement on bare concrete paving, he went ahead with the work.

“They never came back to me,” he said. “It was a scruffy place before. I have planted flowers, made it look nice and it is vital to my business.” Mr Yigit has widespread support from neighbours and the Dartmouth Park CAAC.

There is particular anger that the decision was made by a single officer without councillors being consulted. The committee’s chairman, Nick Bradfield, said: “This delegated decision is shocking. One planner should not be able to jeopardise someone’s business without the support of the planning committee. I have spoken the owner who had no idea it was coming. With the exception of one comment all supported the improvements to the café. This does not help our efforts to improve the York Rise shopping area.”

Now a Dartmouth Park-based barrister, who uses the café regularly, is planning to take up Mr Yigit’s case for him, while a petition by customers will show the depth of feeling, added Mr Yigit. He said: “The council should be more concerned with making sure the bins here are emptied.”

Highgate ward Green councillor Sian Berry has also called on the Town Hall to reverse the decision. She said: “The terrace is lovely and it fits in so well with our plans for the area through the neighbourhood plan.”

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