Statement on All Island Grill closure
The Council's response to concerns about the closure of All Island Grill takeaway and restaurant in Dalston.
I fully appreciate the concerns raised about the closure of All Island Grill, which clearly is a much-loved local business and an important part of the Dalston community.
The closure is not a judgement on the value of the business nor a result of gentrification or bias, but unfortunately follows their failure to get the permission they need to use the building as a takeaway after it replaced a hairdresser in 2016, or to install a suitable extraction system to manage the impact of the business on local residents.
These are standard planning rules that apply equally to all businesses. Like every local authority we have a legal responsibility to apply the regulations that have been democratically agreed in open consultation with the local community, and our action in this case has been upheld by an independent inspector.
While we have attempted to work with the owner to put these issues right over a number of years, our door of course remains open to discuss how they can get the permission they need to use the building as a takeaway, or to look at other options to help All Island Grill remain and flourish in the local area.
Why has All Island Grill closed?
All Island Grill was unlawfully converted from a hairdresser in 2016 and the building has never had permission to be used as a takeaway.
We spent over two years trying to work with the business to help them get the permission they need to use the building as a takeaway, and in particular to upgrade the unfiltered extraction system that has affected local residents.
The Council therefore issued an enforcement notice in 2017 requiring the use of the building as a takeaway to end. This decision was assessed by the Planning Inspectorate in 2019 – an independent government body which examines planning decisions to ensure they have been made correctly. The Planning Inspectorate agreed that the unfiltered extraction system was “harmful to the living conditions of neighbouring occupiers" and ruled that the business should close unless a suitable extraction system is installed.
While the Council has not directly closed All Island Grill, the business recently made the decision to comply with the verdict made by the Planning Inspectorate and close.
Is the closure a result of complaints by local residents?
No. While there have been complaints about noise and odours from All Island Grill that have previously been investigated by the Council’s environmental health team, this is unrelated to the closure of the business as a result of the failure to get suitable planning permission.
These planning rules apply equally to everyone and, while we may be made aware of planning breaches by members of the public, enforcement activity will always take place in accordance with our established enforcement policy.
Has the business had the opportunity to put things right?
We only ever use enforcement as a last resort, and we spent over two years trying to work with the business to help them get the permission they need before beginning enforcement and in particular to upgrade the unfiltered extraction system that has affected local residents.
The business owners have long known what they need to do to get the permission they need and, since the Planning Inspectorate’s decision in 2019, we have been clear that we will support the continuation of the business provided a suitable extraction system is installed.