Fish and chip shop staff safety fears

Concerns over safety of staff working in a proposed fish and chip shop and adjoining premises in the event of a fire were expressed this week when planners considered a scheme to turn a Dereham town centre empty greengrocer's shop into a fish bar.

FEARS for the safety of

staff working at a proposed

fish and chip shop and adjoining premises in the event of fire were voiced as planners rejected a scheme to turn an empty Dereham town centre greengrocer's into a fish bar.

Roy Sherlock highlighted the restrictions of the site and its limited access surrounding the former Dent's chemist shop at the top of Church


He told Breckland councillors there was only one exit to the site and, in the event of a fire, it could spread into the courtyard trapping staff and putting their lives at risk.

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He also felt ventilation of the premises would be a problem and make life "intolerable" for people working in adjoining offices.

Greenland greengrocers was opened by Tacim Dilek last summer in the Grade II listed building at the top of Church Street.

However, the business proved financially unviable and Mr Dilek wanted to turn it into a branch of Rumbles Fish bar - applying for

change of use planning consent and installation of two steel chimneys and an extractor fan at the rear of the building.

The committee heard there were further concerns about the loss of a retail use in the town centre and planning officers said Mr Dilek had not provided evidence of the need in the town for more fast-food takeaways. There were seven letters of objection on the grounds of too many existing takeaways.

A spokesman for Mr Dilek said the chimney equipment was fireproof and would shut down immediately if there were problems.

The equipment to be installed was the latest available and 99pc of fumes and smells would be eliminated. The chimneys could be hidden by being painted black.

Members of the development control committee voted to refuse the plans and related application for internal

and external alterations to the