THE smell of fish and chips became overbearing for residents living near a Worcester takeaway.
And at Worcester Magistrates Court on Thursday, Mohammed Joynul Haque, proprietor of the Kilbury Fish Bar, in Kilbury Drive, was found guilty of failing to comply with a notice issued by the city council ordering him to install an odour control device.
Haque, who was found guilty in his absence after not attending the hearing, was fined £600 for breaching planning rules by not installing the device, which was a requirement of planning permission granted in 2010 to allow the building to be converted from a newsagent’s to a takeaway.
Complaints had been received from residents about fumes coming from the fish bar and Worcester City Council spent nearly a year pursuing Haque to ensure the odour control device was installed.
“All this could have been avoided if he had simply installed this odour control device in the first place, instead of causing considerable inconvenience to residents, who have had to put up with the odours and fumes from his business day after day,” said a council spokesman.
The council first contacted Haque in February 2013 after complaints were received.
A succession of meetings and letters followed, until a formal breach of condition notice was issued on July 16, requiring the device to be installed within a month.
The case was originally due to be heard by Worcester magistrates on December 12, but Haque phoned the court to say he had only just returned from holiday and had not yet seen his solicitor.
The case was adjourned until Thursday, January 9, but Haque again failed to attend court.
Worcester magistrates found him guilty and in addition to the fine ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £60 and a contribution of £100 towards the council’s costs.
After the hearing, Haque told your Worcester News he had not intentionally avoided the council but could not afford the device.
“The business isn’t doing well and this is just another cost,” he said.
“It will cost about £5,000.”
He is seeking further meetings with planning officers.