Kebab wars: Rival take-aways in bitter dispute over listed building changes
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Changes to a listed building have sparked a bitter turf war between rivalling take-aways in a Norfolk town.
In February, Seven and 11, a kebab shop on Market Street in North Walsham installed new ventilation and frontage to its building, replacing that of a previous Japanese restaurant.
The take-away sought advice from North Norfolk District Council in December, ahead of the works, but did not have planning permission in place when they were carried out.
With its premises - 7-9 Market Street - a grade II listed building, manager Bapir Rzgar has been accused of flouting planning regulations in a string of complaints to the council.
Mr Rzgar, though, alleges that these complaints had been made maliciously by rival businesses.
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He said: "Overall, people in North Walsham have been very welcoming of me and my business and have given some very good reviews.
"I know there have been complaints about the property but they have come from my competitors - the other take-aways do not like competition."
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Mr Rzgar has insisted none of the alterations made have gone against regulations and he "has not broken any roles". He has, though, since submitted a retrospective planning application.
And through this, his suspicions around complaints from competitors have proven accurate in at least one circumstance.
One objection has come from Mehmet Gunes, the director of North Kebab almost directly opposite on Market Street.
He said: "North Walsham is a small place but has a lot of different places offering the same type of businesses.
"I do not believe it is fair on the existing businesses that they have made changes to a listed building - they should have got permission first.
"I am not happy about that business being there at all."
Mr Rzgar said the business had spent £15,000 installing the ventilation system at the rear of the building, which had previously been on the side.
Planning papers submitted on Mr Rzgar's behalf say: "The work undertaken does not affect the special architectural or historic importance of the building, the particular physical features of it that justify its designation as a listed building or the building's setting."