Drink Crackdown Policy Is 'Killing' New Business; Curry House Owner Angry over Refusal

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Byline: Graham Henry

THE owner of a curry house that lost its bid to serve booze in Cardiff's saturation zone has hit out at councillors for "effectively banning" new business. Kishore Kancherla, owner of Pappadums N Chutneys, which is due to open on Roath's City Road in May, had his application to serve alcohol from 11am to 11pm rejected on Friday.

Police and local councillors objected to the application, claiming it would increase drink-fuelled crime and antisocial behaviour.

Mr Kancherla told the Echo he had already spent pounds 45,000 renovating the restaurant and said the decision would result in him losing half his trade.

"The problems of crime and disorder which they mentioned would not have been created by an Indian restaurant," he said.

"I was asking for a licence to 11pm and the problems occur after 11pm - so I don't see the reason for automatically rejecting it.

"The decision will obviously have a huge effect on my business.

People want to have a curry and a pint of beer. I won't be able to attract customers and I'll lose that investment.

"The policy is killing new business - they are effectively banning anyone new coming in and it just means the existing businesses have no competition."

A licensing sub-committee hearing was told that, in the first year of the saturation zone policy being in place, the number of incidents had increased from 543 in 2008/09 to 649 in 2009/10.

But South Wales Police licensing officer PC Anthony Roach said: "I am not saying the policy is not working, as the police believe that if the policy was not in force the total incidents would be much higher than it is today.

"Even with the saturation policy in force, there has been an increase of 106 - if there is an increase of licensed premises in this area, it would be higher. …