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Ventilation & Extraction requirements for restaurants/cafes

Report of the Chief Planning Officer and Development Director.


The Committee received a report of the Chief Planning Officer setting out the controls and standards for the provision of ventilation and extraction systems for restaurants and cafes.


The Chairman reminded the Committee that this report had been produced in response to a question previously raised by a Member of the Committee.


The Member in question thanked the Chief Planning Officer for a valuable report which satisfactorily addressed the questions he had previously raised. He went on, however, to suggest that a closer look at the Policy and how it related to planning issues was now required so that the City of London Corporation could adequately address as opposed to having to continually resolve these issues.


The Member referred to paragraph 3 of the report which quoted Policy DM 21.3 of the Local Plan which seemed to be a relatively restricted element of the policy. Paragraph 4 of the report, however, went a little further stating that ‘…ventilation louvres should not be sited on adjoining footways’. Whilst this was pleasing to read, the Member was concerned that this did not appear to be a direct quote from the Policy. He stressed the need to be clear on this matter within the City’s own Policy and asked that the point that there should be no discharging of fumes on pedestrians was adequately reflected within it going forward.


The Member went on to refer to paragraph 8 and the standard condition for hot food premises on extraction that was featured here. He highlighted that the condition referred to flues not giving rise to nuisance to other occupiers of the building or adjacent buildings. He felt, however, that it should also refer to not creating a nuisance for the general public and asked that the wording here be reviewed to take account of this going forward.


The Member concluded by stating that there were many examples of louvres which did discharge on to the pavement in close proximity to the Guildhall which suggested that the Policy was either not working in practice or had not been in place for a particularly long time. He added that this would continue to become more of an issue given that pavement space was becoming more and more at a premium in the City.


The Deputy Chairman commented that substantive progress had been made here and reference the ventilation issues at ‘The Ned’ as an example of this.


A Member reiterated the need to consider all those who used the City’s walkways in this matter. He stated that he represented a commercial Ward and that offices were increasingly reporting problems with odours from kitchens and restaurants nearby. He added that there were also health issues to consider in terms of hot fat and the ingesting of these fumes.


A Member questioned whether the Policy also addressed the proper maintenance of cooking and ventilation equipment.


A Member noted that one of the case studies cited within the report involved another local authority serving an abatement notice. She added that the Planning Committee needed to be fully aware of the conditions that could be imposed around this and ensure that applicants and developers were also clear on this matter as early in the planning process as possible.


A Member highlighted that this was not just a matter of unpleasantness, it was also a health issue in terms of particulants. He went on to question whether the Environmental Health team had equipment which could measure the effectiveness of ventilation systems and monitor this over time.


The Chairman requested that this report also be sent to the Port Health and Environmental Services Committee for Information alongside a resolution from this Committee outlining its concerns around the need to both strengthen and align policies in this area.


The Assistant Director Planning Development stated that he would liaise with colleagues regarding the Local Plan and the alignment of this Policy with it. He stated that the point around maintenance had been well made and that new, enforceable conditions around this could be taken into consideration.


The Deputy Director of Port Health and Public Protection reported that ventilation systems were monitored as part of every Food Hygiene Inspection of premises and that this involved a visual inspection rather than the use of any specific equipment for this purpose. Maintenance records were also regularly inspected.


RESOLVED – That, the Committee note the report.


Supporting documents:


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