Hundreds join ‘save our chippy’ plea

Four decade old fish bar could be turned in a flat

Thursday, 28th July — By Tom Foot

camden28 Image 2022-07-28 at 9.19.01 PM (6)

Co-owner Mahmut Nalbant with his son Mustafa

HUNDREDS of people have urged the council: Save our chippy!
Property owners want to turn York Way Fish bar into a one bedroom flat – and have told the family-run business to leave.

More than 500 people, mainly from the nearby Maiden Lane estate, have signed a paper petition.

In objections to the Town Hall’s planning department, one loyal customer said he had eaten fish and chips at the shop “every Friday for 40 years”.

Business owner Dursan Nalbant, who grew up in a flat facing the shop, said: “We’ve been here for 40 years, always paid our rent on time and we were just about to redecorate the place when the pandemic stopped us. So I was shocked when they said they don’t want us here.

“This is a family business. I’ve been here so long I remember before when this road was a veg market.”

Mr Nalbant, who went to nearby Robert Blair primary school, added: “We don’t make big money. If you live and work round here you know that in York Way you won’t be a millionaire, but you will manage and get your family through.

“Your kids will get an education and people will be alright. We serve the local people, the residents of the estate and the builders and workers. It’s not £15 burgers here.”

He added that rent from a one bed flat in the area was almost the same as the rent he was paying now with his shop.

National government changed the rules last year to make it easier for high street shop owners to change businesses into private homes.

The Nalbant family are well known around York Way and Agar Grove and at the primary school where they annually help with a summer fun day BBQ.

Their landlord has told them they will not renew their lease ahead of an application to change the use of the shop.

The documents show plans to demolish the rear extension of the premises, where the fish and chip shop kitchen is, as part of overall plans to replace the shop with a one-bed flat.

The planning application available for public view on the council’s website and submitted on behalf of the applicant Hilmi Kurt-Elli, said the changes would be “sympathetic to the historical fabric and form of the original building and in keeping with the Camden Square Conservation Area”.

Agents Architecture for London said it had responded to concerns about lack of light in the flat and introduced a courtyard into the plan.

But objections have already been made to the council from neighbours.

Lee Gonzalez, who lives nearby, said: “I have got fish and chips from here every Friday for 40 years. It has served the local community during lockdown and beyond.

“There are loads of ‘affordable’ homes going up in the area and only this one chip shop. No to this. No.”

In her objection Scarlett Mannish, another resident, said: “With the rise in number of residential properties in this area, along York way, and on the Maiden Lane Estate, I fail to see how the conversion of a much used commercial property into yet another flat will serve to boost the vibrancy of the area.

“The nearby football pitches, builders sites, offices, homes and commercial warehouses all make daily use of the shop.

“It is open into the late hours and makes the area feel safe, even when all other commercial properties are closed.”

The application said: “Many of the surrounding buildings have residential at ground floor level. The applicant is looking to change the use of the ground floor to provide one new residential apartment.

“It is considered that the design of the proposed unit results in a high standard of accommodation with external amenity space and will make a small contribution towards the borough’s housing targets.”

The council is currently reviewing the application.

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