Town kebab shop could be moving after being forced to quit building

Kebab shop owner, Ahmed Farag (right) and employee, Mohamed Abdelhafez (left).Thetford Kebab House h

Kebab shop owner, Ahmed Farag (right) and employee, Mohamed Abdelhafez (left).Thetford Kebab House has closed after Thetford Town Council terminated the business's lease at The Shambles. Photo: Emily Thomson - Credit: Archant

A kebab shop could be moving to a different location in a Norfolk town after it was forced to leave its home of three decades.

A planning application submitted to Breckland Council suggests the Thetford Kebab House could be moving to a new premises in the town.

It follows the forced closure of the business at The Shambles market place last year.

Ahmed Farag, owner of Thetford Kebab House, spoke of his “devastation” in July last year after he received a letter from its landlord Thetford Town Council, terminating his lease and giving him six months’ notice to leave.

The kebab shop officially closed in September after Mr Farag and his employee Mohamed Abdel Hafez were unable to continue trading where the shop has stood for more than 30 years.

Mr Farag, who had been running the kebab shop for six years, after taking over the business from his previous employer, said they had signed a nine-year lease, which was breakable after six years.

A Thetford Town Council spokesman said the decision was made by the Amenities Committee at a meeting in October 2019 to "exercise their break clause in accordance with the terms of the lease."

Concern was raised at a special council meeting last year about health and safety, market hygiene issues and the shop's late opening hours.

But following community support, Mr Farag decided to fight the council's decision and was granted an extension to the lease for a year, subject to conditions.

He was unable to complete work in the shop and provide the correct information before the cut-off date last August, which saw the business's lease terminated on September 1.

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At the time, Mr Farag said they were on the hunt for a new location in the town in order to continue serving his "loyal customers."

But a planning application has now been submitted to Breckland, with Mr Hafez as the applicant, for the change of use from a hair salon to a hot food takeaway on Earls Street in the town.

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The application proposes that there will be three full-time employees, with the opening hours planned for 2pm to 11pm on Monday to Friday, and 2pm to 12am on Saturday.

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