WITHDRAWN: Kamal Alley has put plans to open up a new Italian eatery in the centre of Barnard Castle on hold
WITHDRAWN: Kamal Alley has put plans to open up a new Italian eatery in the centre of Barnard Castle on hold

A BARNARD Castle businessman has withdrawn plans for a new Italian restaurant amid a raft of objections.

Kamal Alley, who owns Il Palazzo, in Galgate, had submitted a planning application to Durham County Council to convert the former clothing shop Boho Boo, in Market Place, into a second eatery.

Mr Alley has now withdrawn the plans following a number of protests, including an objection from the town council which said there were already too many cafes in Barnard Castle.

Mr Alley said he was “disappointed” by the opposition to his proposal.

He said: “I had big plans for it and I never thought this would happen.

“It is a shame because it is such a beautiful place. It could have been lovely. It could have been one of the best places in Barnard Castle.

“I would love to reconsider it but it is on hold for now. It is empty so who knows what it is going to be there? It is a waste.”

Barnard Castle Town Council had opposed the plans in August when members of the planning committee said there were too many eateries and that retail space should be saved. Some residents also objected due to fears of noise, disturbance, odour, opening hours, waste storage and the loss of the retail space in the town’s high street.

On behalf of two objectors who live behind the building, Maria Ferguson Planning Consultancy wrote to Durham County Council to say turning the shop into a restaurant would have “a significant detrimental impact upon their residential amenity”. But Mr Alley said: “There was not going to be any noise anyway because it is a restaurant.”

However, a number of letters were received in support.

One resident believed that a stylish restaurant would help to enhance Market Place and benefit other businesses. It was also claimed it would attract more locals to the town centre, as well as bring in people from further afield.

The chairman of Barnard Castle Town Council’s planning committee, Cllr Frank Harrison, said: “One of the main objections was there were no disabled facilities. I am 50/50 about it. I’m not upset.

“It would have been a good thing for the town but there are enough places selling hot food. I think they counted 33 in total in Barnard Castle. I hope that the building will eventually have some use.”

Owner of the building, Tony Barmby added: “We are trying to re-let the shop but it is difficult in the circumstances.”