London: The owners of an Indian restaurant in the UK were fined by a court after neighbours complained of strong 'curry smells' from the eatery, PTI reported.
[blurb]The report said that the Middlesbrough Council fined 'Khushi Indian Buffet Restaurant' owners Shabana and Mohammed Khushi after the establishment sent aromas of 'biryanis' and 'bhajis' filtering through the area.[/blurb]
According to the local authority, the Linthorpe restaurant was lacking a 'sufficient filtration system'. A handful of locals had been complaining about the smells, which led to the council's decision, the Gazette Live said.
Khushi, which serves Punjabi dishes and was based in the Red Rose pub, was set in a built-up residential area alongside other businesses.
At Teesside Magistrates' Court last week, District Judge Kristina Harrison heard from a council prosecutor that some residents had complained that the smell of spicy food from the restaurant's kitchen got in through their windows and was overpowering. It was alleged the smells were so strong, it left them needing to wash their clothes, PTI said.
The pair were fined 258 pounds each, ordered to pay 500 pounds costs each, and a 30 pounds victim surcharge.
Defence solicitor Neil Douglas, however, said that because the business had moved into a former pub building, no variation of planning permission was needed and therefore the Khushis were never made aware of the type of filters they needed.
[blurb]In letters written to a judge, some local businesses and councillors supported the restaurant, saying they have never had a problem with curry smells on the road.[/blurb]
A company which specialises in fitting out Asian restaurants installed the kitchen in 2015, leading the couple to believe they had the right equipment.
Shabana, 42, speaking after the case, was quoted as saying, "We are relieved that it's all over, but we feel let down by the council."
[quote]"We've tried to be a good neighbour but we feel we've been targeted by a small minority of people. Others have said they can't smell anything until they're inside the restaurant," she said.[/quote]
PTI said the Khushis had admitted failing to comply with an abatement notice between March and September last year.
(With PTI inputs)