A Worksop chip shop owner who has been denied permission to dish up fried food at night has staged a protest against claims his business will “provoke anti-social behaviour” in the town.
Colin Barton says Bassetlaw District Council has a “vendetta” against him after rejecting his application to keep Nicola’s Fish Bar open until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays.
In order to trade during night-time hours, Mr Barton was told he would need to employ two bouncers and install extra CCTV, as well as obtain permission from Nottinghamshire’s liquor team - despite the fact he does not sell alcohol.
Dozens turned out to Wednesday’s protest, which 56-year-old Mr Barton says he held as a last resort against the “countless excuses being made in order to close the chip shop”.
Angry demonstrators stood outside the council’s buildings on Queen Street, holding aloft banners and calling for more support for the Carlton Road business.
During the protest, Mr Barton said: “The council claim that, if it is open until late, my business will attract violent behaviour. I sell chips - so I find that notion bizarre.
“Why is it takeaways and bars are allowed to open until 3am but I am not? All I want is to make a living.”
Bassetlaw District Council has hit back at the comments, insisting that every business that applies for a late night licence is “treated fairly”.
Earlier this year, the council took Mr Barton to court after he was found to be trading beyond the hours of 11pm illegally- he was later fined £1,000.
Councillor Josie Potts, chairman of the licensing committee at Bassetlaw District Council, said: “In Mr Barton’s case, his application for a premises licence to sell late-night refreshments was refused at a licensing panel hearing following representations from Nottinghamshire Police. Mr Barton did not appeal this panel decision. Therefore, Mr Barton’s premises is not licensed to trade beyond 11pm.”
Mr Barton added that he had launched a petition which has reached 3,000 signatures from residents eager to see the council’s decision reversed so the chippy can remain open.
Resident Terry Haslam said: “When Colin took over the shop, it was empty and covered in graffiti. He has spent nearly £30,000 transforming it into an attractive and established business, which he should be praised for.”