Noise and parking fears scupper plan for new restaurant in Fishponds

Neighbours and Avon and Somerset Police raised concerns
The site of the proposed restaurant in FishpondsThe site of the proposed restaurant in Fishponds
The site of the proposed restaurant in Fishponds

Noise and parking fears have scuppered a plan to open a new West African restaurant and bar in Fishponds.

Bristol City Council rejected a licence application for the planned venue on Fishponds Road after nearby neighbours and Avon and Somerset Police raised concerns.

The restaurant would have stayed open until 12am during the week and 2am on weekends, prompting fears that local residents living nearby would be woken up in the middle of night.

Another concern was the poor bus services in the area and added demand for car parking.

Councillors in a licensing hearing voted to reject the application on Thursday, July 20, after hearing from the applicants, from Cameroon, about the local demand for their plans.

Ngwa Betrand said: “There’s a demand for something that represents the community. We’re quite a big population in Bristol, and when you also look at neighbouring countries like Nigeria, it’s a big population. We’re also close to the University of the West of England, which has a huge international student population. So the need is there, we’ve seen it.”

Local residents said the late hours could mean customers leaving the restaurant and bar might wake them up. They also said parking a car was already difficult on the residential streets near the planned venue, and feared this could become worse if the business opened.

Ruth Pickersgill, a local resident and former Labour councillor, said: “We totally support the idea of communities coming together, and there’s a cultural need and it’s brilliant. But on my road we’ve got a lot of babies and we’ve also got a lot of shift workers, and they’re all very concerned about the hours.

“There’s another concern about parking. We can’t park on our road anywhere after 9pm, and additional parking is going to be an issue. There’s very small narrow streets which have cars on both sides, usually parked on the pavement, and it’s incredibly difficult for emergency vehicles or anybody else to get through at the best of times.”

The venue would have opened on 631-633 Fishponds Road, which was previously occupied by a shisha bar. But it’s unclear what will happen next with the location after the licensing hearing’s rejection.

Councillor Richard Eddy, chair of the hearing, said: “We were aware of the potential impact on what is a very dense residential area. We were also aware that the impact could be major on residents because of the parking pressure.”