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Rodley restaurant extension plans blocked by council

Plans to extend a popular Turkish restaurant in Rodley have been refused by Leeds City Council planners.

The Epheseus, on Rodley Lane, had applied to build an aluminum-framed glazed structure with a retractable canvas roof to enclose the existing outside front dining area.

Owner Ozgen Ulusoy wanted the option of maintaining maximum occupancy of the restaurant no matter the weather. A planning statement accompanying the application said:

“This use has become more prevalent during the recent and ongoing Covid-19 restrictions because the current occupancy level of the restaurant has been reduced by over 50% in order for the restaurant to adhere to social distancing rules. Therefore, a year-round use of the external dining area would give the restaurant the economic boost it very urgently needs.”

The applicant said the design has been ‘carefully considered to be transparent and have as little impact on the local character of the area as possible’.

But council planning officers refused the application, saying the proposal was ‘unduly prominent’ within the Rodley Conservation Area and contravened planning policy. A council report concluded:

“While lightweight in appearance, the enclosures would be overly prominent and domineering on the ground floor of the facade, above and beyond the existing decked seating areas.

“As such the development fails to preserve and enhance the special character of this part of the Rodley Conservation Area where the street-scene is void of such additions to the front of buildings.”

There had been one objection and six letters of support to the proposal.

The restaurant can accommodate 60 covers internally, with 24 externally.

Both the proposals and reasons for refusal can be read in full here.

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