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New takeaway’s opening hours cut over disorder fears

A takeaway boss has been ordered to close his business an hour earlier than others to help tackle late night trouble on Whitehaven’s streets.

The La’al Persian will open in empty unit on Tangier Street

Arya Mehrmanesh wanted to shut his new takeaway, La’al Persian, at 2.30am on Thursdays, Fridays andSaturdays.

But at Copeland’s Licensing Committee, Mr Mehrmanesh’s request was turned down and instead he will have to close at 1.30am on those days and midnight on other nights.

The News & Star revealed last week how a police chief had slammed Mr Mehrmanesh’s plans, saying he feared a 16th outlet opening in an area of town which is already saturated with takeaways would be the tipping point in efforts to control nuisance behaviour.

And at the committee meeting, Sergeant John Farrar repeated his concerns.

He said: “People want food and hang around in drunken groups making noise and nuisance. There is disorder inside and outside the shops, fights breaking out – it just adds fuel to the fire.”

He added the situation was being contained rather than effectively managed, and some outlets were not complying with their agreed hours.

But Mr Mehrmanesh, who hit back at the claims, said: “People are more aggressive if they are hungry.” He also asked where the consistency was if he had to shut up shop an hour earlier than other outlets.

The 52-year-old, who has been in Whitehaven for 32 years and previously ran town centre businesses, said he now feels he is being treated unfairly and that there is a campaign against him.

“I have lived here longer than I have in Iran,” he said. “I consider myself local and I have always had good co-operation with the police. I have a good name and reputation.”

He also pointed out that two new takeaways had recently opened in the town – one on Tangier Street and the other in Market Place.

The police had previously asked for the council to consider ordering takeaway owners to employ security staff to help fight the ever increasing problem of late-night crime, however, this was not discussed during the committee hearing.

Sgt Farrar said there are too many takeaways trading in a small area and the opening of the La’al Persian at Tangier Buildings, would only make matters worse.

The committee said its decision was to help reduce crime and disorder in the town centre and is in line with planning permission already granted to Mr Mehrmanesh, who hopes to open his business at the end of the month.

John Cain, environmental health officer with Copeland council, said the prolonged late-night disturbance impacted on town centre residents who were having their sleep disturbed.

Have your say

1:30am instead of 2:30am doesn't sound so bad, Mr. Mehrmanesh, and it might save you some trouble & damage & expense with rowdies. It's not exactly our main interest of cutting workhours to save jobs and cutting them deeper to spread the work and create jobs, but who knows... And meanwhile, we're relayting your story in America on MissingplanDotCom so hopefully crowds of wealthy Yanks will seek out your what-US-would-call "take-out" in charming Whitehaven and bolster the economy of northern England!

Posted by MrTimesizingDotCom on 7 September 2014 at 02:10

Or just enforce the laws that make it ILLEGAL to serve alcohol to anyone that is already drunk

Posted by Alan on 5 September 2014 at 22:06

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