Apr 1 2011
BRITISH Cafe owner wins extractor fan appeal after neighbor claimed 'smell of bacon offends Muslims'
A CAFÉ boss ordered to tear down an extractor fan as the smell of her frying bacon offended passing Muslims has won her appeal against the decision.
UK DAILY MAIL –Beverley Akciecek, 49, was ordered to tear down an extractor fan after a neighbour told council bosses his Muslim friends refused to visit his home because of the ‘foul odour’. Graham Webb-Lee said the smell made them feel ‘physically sick’
Mrs Akciecek and her husband Cetin, 50 – himself a Turkish Muslim – spent months struggling to pay legal fees and worrying about the future of their business. Now the planning inspectorate has announced that they can keep the extractor fan at the Snack Shack cafe in Stockport. The council has been ordered to pay the entire legal bill, which could be as high as £5,000.
Mrs Akciecek, a mother of seven, said: ‘This is a victory for common sense but we shouldn’t have been put through this in the first place. We had lots of support from the Muslim community. They were infuriated.’
‘It would have cost us a couple of grand to move it which we just didn’t have. ‘We would have had to shut down while they were doing it, which would have taken a couple of weeks and it would have been a nightmare.
The couple took, who both work 50 hours a week, over the takeaway in Cale Green, Stockport, in 2007. On taking charge they replaced the existing extractor fan, which had been there for six years, with a new modern one. They claim they received no complaints about the cafe, which is open from 7.30am-2.30pm six days a week, until around eighteen months ago.
They received a letter from environmental services to say their neighbour Graham Webb-Lee had complained about the smell. ‘This is disgraceful. It makes our house stink of vile cooking smells, we can’t eat our breakfast in the morning. I will be speaking to my lawyer. ‘The vent is 12 inches from my front door. Every morning the smell of bacon comes through and makes me physically sick. ‘I have a lot of Muslim friends. They refuse to visit me any more because they can’t stand the smell of bacon.’
Yesterday Mr Webb-Lee said: ‘This is disgraceful. It makes our house stink of vile cooking smells, we can’t eat our breakfast. I will be speaking to my lawyer.’
The Lib Dem-run council originally ruled the smell from the fan, which has been in Bev’s Snack Shack for more than three years, was ‘unacceptable on the grounds of residential amenity’ and told her to take it down.
Mrs Akciecek said: ‘I just think it’s just crazy. My Turkish Muslim husband Cetin’s friends actually visit the shop, they’re regular visitors, they’re Muslim people, they come in a couple of times a week. ‘I have Muslim people come in for cheese toasties. Cetin cooks the food himself, he cooks the bacon.
‘When we go to a cafe my husband wouldn’t be offended by the smell of bacon. ‘His friends are not offended by it, we have three visitors who come here for a sandwich, friends of my husband, and the smell doesn’t offend them at all. ‘We’ve never had a problem about the smell because everything is pre-cooked. We cook it in the oven so there’s no foul smell.