Child safety concerns stops plans to convert Indian restaurant into a community centre
PUBLISHED: 14:00 25 July 2018
A bid to turn an Indian restaurant in East Ham into a community centre has been rejected amid concerns over child safety.
Newham Council’s Local Development Committee refused an application to transform the Eastern Eye in High Street South, into a centre which would offer chefs training and homework clubs amongst other classes.
Councillors raised concerns about child safeguarding, noise, parking and the extra people the facility would bring to the road.
A representative for the centre, which is already running some cookery classes from the restaurant, argued that all staff would be subject to disclosure and barring service (DBS) checks.
He added: “Teachers would come through an agency and be checked. We are offering training for free. No one else is offering this. In terms of the extra people that might be in the street, we have said we will have a maximum capacity of 50 people. The restaurant has 60 covers so we will have less impact than the restaurant.”
However, councillor Joshua Garfield said DBS checks for staff were the “bare minimum in terms of safeguarding” and added that the applicant needed to “guarantee much more” to get approval.
He said: “It has been suggested this could be a venue where homework clubs take place.
“I can’t see that any information has been provided about safeguarding from the community centre staff. That to me suggests a risk to children.”
Council officers added that the change of use should be refused because the building was too far from a town centre and did not fit in with the borough’s strategic plan.
The committee voted for in favour of the change of use application and four against.
As chair, Cllr Harvinder Singh Virdee was given the deciding vote and the plan was rejected.
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