A fish and chip shop owner has accused council planners of ‘doing nothing to help local businesses’ after he was refused permission to have seating outside his restaurant.
Demetrios Photiou, who owns the Trident Fish Restaurant in Old Town’s Albert Parade, applied for permission to install seating on the pavement outside the chip shop but it was refused at the last planning meeting.
Mr Photiou, who owns a number of businesses in the town, told The Herald the plans are part of a major revamp of the premises.
He said, “We are giving the whole of the inside a contemporary look and we own the shop next door so that is going to house the takeaway.
“We are spending a lot of money on this and it will look really nice and be an attraction for the local area. It will bring money into the area.
“It will look very attractive as I am going to have big planters out there.
“The outside seating is a crucial part of the refurbishment and important to its success.
“I don’t understand why they have refused it.”
Albert Parade boasts a range of independent shops including a butchers and a green grocers.
The traders tried to fight against Sainsbury’s opening up on the former Drive Pub site in 2013 with the help of Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd.
They said their businesses would be ‘under threat’ if a big supermarket opened near the parade.
However, there was little that could be done because under existing planning laws, a change of use is not required to convert a pub to a supermarket and in 2014 the campaigners had to admit defeat.
Work has now begun to turn the old pub in to a Sainsbury’s.
Mr Photiou said, “It seems everything is set up for the big players likes Sainsbury’s to get whatever they want but no one wants to help the small, independent businesses.
“The council does nothing to help us.
“It’s like they are anti the small man.”
Mr Photiou says he was originally refused planning permission for the chip shop back in the early 90s.
He said the premises, which was formerly a bank, was boarded up for five years until the issue was resolved.
An Eastbourne Borough Council spokesperson said, “In regard to this application, the council has no objection to the principle of outside seating. However, the number of covers requested was deemed excessive and likely to result in noise and disturbance to nearby residents.”
Mr Photiou is planning on protesting against the decision made by the planners earlier this month.
He is hoping his customers and fellow traders get behind his campaign and write to the council to register their disapproval of the decision. .
The council spokesperson added, “We recommend that the owner submits another application for fewer covers or appeals this decision.”