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Threat to businessman who defied law

PUBLISHED: 18:04 27 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:12 07 July 2010

A businessman who has been accused of "a blatant disregard for the law" after opening an entertainment centre in Thetford faces could face legal action if he is refused planning permission.

A businessman who has been accused of “a blatant disregard for the law” after opening an entertainment centre in Thetford faces could face legal action if he is refused planning permission.

Jose Da Silva has converted the former canteen at Ashley House on the Stephenson Way industrial estate and in July was rejected a late night licence for a snack bar, restaurant and ballroom.

He has applied for retrospective planning permission for the venture but Breckland councillors will be recommended to turn it down and support enforcement action.

Members of the development control committee on Monday will be told of a wide range of objections to the operation in the canteen of a former engineering factory.

Environmental health officers have “serious concerns” about noise and police are worried about crime and anti-social behaviour. A range of local businesses have raised a wide range of objections including possible extra vandalism, noise and smell, traffic congestion and the unsuitable nature of the venture on an industrial estate.

Thetford Town Council has strongly objected to it being on an industrial estate and Breckland's environmental planning officer has opposed it as it breaks planning guidelines.

In a report to development control committee members, Breckland planning officers said the application was “locally sensitive”.

They are recommending refusal on a range of grounds including possible impact on the industrial estate and extra crime and disorder and they also argue that premises could be found closer to the town centre.

When Mr Da Silva was refused his late night licence, the Breckland licensing committee was told by Tony Grover, of Norfolk Police, that he had “shown a blatant disregard” for licensing laws.

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