Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Fury over Giant Diner in 'Little Istanbul' Residents Say New Restaurant Flouts Rules to Preserve the High Street

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Fury over Giant Diner in 'Little Istanbul' Residents Say New Restaurant Flouts Rules to Preserve the High Street

Article excerpt

Byline: Natasha Salmon

RESIDENTS campaigning to shut down a Turkish restaurant that opened unlawfully in London's "Little Istanbul" say a rapid rise in the number of places to eat and drink is killing their high street.

Sira Vanadokya, which opened at the weekend, takes up three shopfronts along Green Lanes in Harringay, which were knocked into one without full planning consent.

Objectors accuse the owners, who have been refused retrospective planning permission, of flouting rules designed to preserve the balance of the street scene. Fifty have written to Haringey council, saying traditional retailers have been squeezed out of Green Lanes over the past decade, leaving the street a "ghost town" by day.

However, the restaurant owners say the venue enhances the street's reputation as a destination for Turkish and Kurdish cuisine, drawing parallels with foodie destinations such as Chinatown and Brick Lane, which attract customers from across the capital.

Michael Anderson, who has lived in the area for 33 years, said: "Fifteen years ago when we started to get restaurants around here I welcomed it because it had become deserted. But now it seems everyone has the same idea. A lot of the ordinary trading shops are dying. We are at a tipping point."

Council figures show restaurants, pubs and takeaways comprise a quarter of the 142 units on the mile-long strip.

Hugh Flouch, founder of community website Harringay Online, said: "We used to have a fish shop, a book shop, a stationers but they are gone. I do use the local restaurants and it's great we have a vibrant restaurant economy but I don't want that to be all there is." The Sira is made up of three units which the owners successfully applied to convert into three individual restaurants one by one over the past 12 months.

However, an overall application to permanently combine them into a single diner of 5,000 square feet, open from 7am until 2am daily, was refused last week. …

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