Noise and traffic fears over Sheffield Indian restaurant's outdoor seating plan

Lavang, on Fulwood Road, Nether Green
Lavang, on Fulwood Road, Nether Green

Opposition is mounting towards a plan to offer outdoor seating at an Indian restaurant in Sheffield - with fears of increased noise and traffic topping the list of residents' concerns.

Lavang, at the junction of Fulwood Road and Tom Lane in Nether Green, has asked the council for permission to put down wooden decking at the front of its premises, providing extra space for 32 diners.

Management at the restaurant - which describes itself as a 'fine dining' venue - want to use the outdoor seating between midday and 11pm during fine weather.

But the proposal has so far attracted 25 objections from neighbours.

Andrea Shaw, one of the opponents who lives on Fulwood Road, told council officers: "Parking is already pretty difficult within a reasonable distance of home and this proposal will make that worse if it means greater numbers coming to the restaurant.

"Because of the layout of the area sound echoes and rebounds across the road and back. This kind of pavement dining belongs in the centre of cities, not in a residential area with no other restaurants nearby."

Paul Hattam, of Ranmoor Cliffe Road, also called for the plan to be rejected, expressing fears that the decking would 'end up becoming a smoking area'.

"The opportunities for dining 'al fresco' are few and far between given our northern climate," he said.

"The plan would significantly alter the character of the neighbourhood away from residential to commercial."

Other objectors said they were worried about the cumulative impact of noise from the outdoor seating and events at the Rising Sun pub, which is opposite Lavang.

The opposition follows similar controversy when the restaurant was granted its alcohol licence earlier this year. The place opened in February, replacing Panahar on the same site.

Acting on behalf of Lavang, JR Planning Consultants said in a statement to the council: "The decking would provide an area for customers to enjoy outdoor eating during periods of warmer weather and would allow the business to expand their offer to customers."

A glazed barrier would be put up around the outside seating, said the consultants, who described the restaurant as 'successful and well-regarded'.

"The proposal would not harm highways safety or efficiency and would not unacceptably impact on neighbouring living conditions."

Officers will consider the objections before making a recommendation to councillors.