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Thai Silk 3am opening blocked by council

Southwark's planning committee has rejected a bid by Thai Silk's Southwark branch to remain open till 3am following strong opposition from local residents.

Thai Silk in Isabella Street
Thai Silk in Isabella Street

Members of the planning committee voted unanimously to reject the application on the grounds that it "would result in excessive noise nuisance and anti-social behaviour".

Residents living near the Isabella Street restaurant mounted a vigorous campaign to oppose a variation in the original planning application that would allow the restaurant and bar to operate until 3am seven days a week. The objectors were supported by Cllr Danny McCarthy (Labour, Cathedrals ward, Southwark) and all three Lib Dem councillors in Lambeth's Bishop's ward.

Thai Silk had already secured the necessary licence to remain open till 3am but its existing planning permission restricted operating hours to 11.30pm Monday to Wednesday, midnight on Thursdays, 12.30am on Fridays and Saturdays and 11pm on Sundays.

The row of bars and restaurants under the railway arches on Isabella Street is located just yards away from homes in Styles House on The Cut and Benson House in Hatfields where residents have complained of the disturbance from late-night revellers leaving the premises.

The situation is complicated by the proximity of the borough boundary on Hatfields; Benson House falls in Lambeth whilst the restaurant is in Southwark so residents' concerns about late-night noise were initially bounced between the two authorities.

"The various tenants' associations have agreed in principle to stay in touch on planning and licensing issues and oppose any variations that would affect the quality of life of our community," says Mike Tuppen of the Octavia Hill Residents Association.

"It is important that cross-borough communication takes place on these issues and we have the support of our respective councillors and MPs."

Thai Silk: We never wished to upset our neighbours

"We shall comply but we wish that the neighbours had talked to us before" said a spokesperson for Thai Silk. "We never wished to upset them and there is a standing offer: Please talk to us."

In its letter supporting the application, the restaurant explained that it was seeking the permission for 3am opening for private parties only, and after midnight all customers would leave via the rear doors on Joan Street, a non-residential street.

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