Restaurant’s plea for later closing succeeds

William Sitwell and chef Louis Myhill
William Sitwell and chef Louis Myhill

Buckingham’s Nelson Street Restaurant has been granted permission to extend its opening hours, despite strong objections from neighbours.

Five local residents objected to the application for later openingby Buckingham-born proprietor and head chef Louis Myhill.

Nelson Street, which has been open for just over a year has been well received by Buckingham diners and is gaining a wider reputation.

It has recently been visited by Waitrose Magazine editor and Masterchef food critic William Sitwell as well as former Supertramp frontman Roger Hodgson.

The restaurant, which servesEnglish food with an international twist, was previously open until 11pm from Tuesday to Saturday and until 4pm on Sunday.

The licensing sub-committe of Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) ruled last week that it can now remain open until 11.30pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, and until 12.30am from Thursday to Saturday plus the Sundays of bank holiday weekends and the week leading up to Christmas Day.

On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, it will be able to open until 2am.

Mr Myhill, aged 24, who trained at The Ivy, set up the restaurant in the former electrical store with the help of his architect parents, Steven and Sarah.

Local film-maker Roger Stotesbury made a fly-on-the-wall documentary about the project, which screened to a sell-out audience at Buckingham’s independent cinema The Film Place in October.

Mrs Myhill said the reason for applying for the extension was to fit in two sittings in the evenings, to ensure the financial viability of the business.

Welcoming the decision, Mrs Myhill told the Advertiser the restaurant will not necessarily open for the full hours allowed and the kitchen will still close at 10pm.

She said: “It just makes it a bit more relaxed for people to finish their desserts and coffee.”

Nelson Street residents Jenny Bates and Andrew Wighton attended the hearing to explain their concerns, which included noise from taxis and cars stopping to drop off and pick up customers and customers returning to their cars.

But the sub-committe found there was no evidence of any complaints having been made to the authorities.

It also noted that the premises had been granted several temporary event notices (TENs) to extend closing times, “without complaint or even the residents noticing”.

It concluded: “the successful use of TENs did seem to demonstrate that the premises was capable of operating later without causing a disturbance”.