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Concerns over noise levels as plans for a Hookah Shisha café in a town are revealed

PUBLISHED: 17:05 10 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:35 12 October 2019

Maxi Cafe, in Thetford, 14 Lime Kiln Lane, have sent a planning application to Breckland Council to introduce hookah shisha pipes and longer opening hours. Photo: Emily Thomson

Maxi Cafe, in Thetford, 14 Lime Kiln Lane, have sent a planning application to Breckland Council to introduce hookah shisha pipes and longer opening hours. Photo: Emily Thomson

Emily Thomson

Concerns have been raised over noise levels as plans for a hookah and shisha pipe café in a town have been revealed.

Thetford business, Maxi Poli, of 12 Lime Kiln Lane, owners of a nearby car wash and cafe at 14 Lime Kiln Lane, have lodged plans to introduce hookah shisha pipes and longer working hours. Photo: Emily ThomsonThetford business, Maxi Poli, of 12 Lime Kiln Lane, owners of a nearby car wash and cafe at 14 Lime Kiln Lane, have lodged plans to introduce hookah shisha pipes and longer working hours. Photo: Emily Thomson

Thetford business, Maxi Poli, an eastern European food store in Lime Kiln Lane, has lodged plans with Breckland Council for the use of hookah and shisha pipes and longer opening hours at its nearby cafe and car wash.

Maxi Café, a Polish restaurant, also in Lime Kiln Lane, would like to introduce the use of hookah and shisha, which are water pipes used to smoke sweetened and flavoured tobacco.

The cafe has requested longer opening hours from 10am to 11pm, Monday to Saturday, so that it can cater for people who enjoy the social activity of gathering around a pipe with their friends in the evening.

Along with the extended opening hours of the café, owners of Maxi Poli also wish to increase the working hours of their car wash from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays.

Thetford business, Maxi Poli, of 12 Lime Kiln Lane, owners of a nearby car wash and cafe at 14 Lime Kiln Lane, have lodged plans to introduce hookah shisha pipes and longer working hours. Photo: Emily ThomsonThetford business, Maxi Poli, of 12 Lime Kiln Lane, owners of a nearby car wash and cafe at 14 Lime Kiln Lane, have lodged plans to introduce hookah shisha pipes and longer working hours. Photo: Emily Thomson

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The plans are yet to be decided, but comments from Thetford town councillor Mark Webster on Breckland Council's website reveal his concern about the proposed opening hours.

He said: "Thetford Town Council would support the continued use of the car wash and café but would object to the opening hours being extended beyond 6pm in the evening, to prevent disturbance to local residents in the nearby flats."

But documents submitted by Maxi Poli in support of the proposal state that there have been no issues with noise level during the 18 months the business has been in operation and they do not foresee an increase in noise through its continued use, if plans go ahead.

It says: "Continued use of the car wash and extended use of the café with hookah shisha will provide further services and facilities without impact on amenity, helping to ensure the vitality and viability of Thetford."

But the plans have also been opposed by an environmental health officer who says there is insufficient evidence to ensure the development will not cause environmental concern.

A statement from the officer on Breckland Council's website said: "In light of these concerns, I recommend refusal of this application until such a time as I receive further information and clarification of the proposed use for the hookah shisha."

Maxi Poli was contacted for comment.

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