Three-year fight to turn South Hampstead coffee shop into restaurant rages on
- Credit: Archant
The owner of an Italian coffee shop and deli is continuing his three-year fight to turn it into a restaurant with the support of a war veteran.
Nico Potenza, who runs Gastronomia La Delizia with his parents in Fairfax Road, South Hampstead, is applying for the third time to transform his business into a restaurant.
The previous two rejections from Camden Council mean that Mr Potenza has had to open a coffee shop in the meantime to save the business from going bust.
Around 40 residents have expressed concern that a restaurant would create a lot of noise, with one family living behind the venue concerned that the venture would disrupt the care of their autistic son.
Lord Peter Eden, who was made a peer for his services during the Second World War, has lent his support to Mr Potenza’s battle, saying the eatery is a “clean, orderly-run Italian eatery struggling to survive”.
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Mr Potenza, who turned his furniture shop into a cafe in 2010 when it became unsuccessful, said: “It’s not a nightclub or anything noisy, in fact the only way you could have anything quieter would be to have a shop closing at five.
“We’re not doing as well as we should be, but the fact we are still here and trading is confirmation that people want to come here.”
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Cllr Valerie Leach, cabinet member for regeneration and growth, said: “As previously agreed, the principle of a restaurant in this location is likely to be acceptable, however this would be subject to certain controls to protect nearby residents from disturbance, including limiting hours of opening.”