‘A victory for common sense’: Cafe owner wins extractor fan appeal after neighbour claimed ‘smell of bacon offends Muslims’

MAILONLINE

A cafe owner who was ordered to tear down an extractor fan because the smell of bacon offended Muslims was celebrating a ‘victory for commons sense’ today.

Beverley Akciecek has won her appeal against the ruling by Stockport councillors.

Mrs Akciecek’s neighbour’s had claimed their Muslim friends were refusing to visit because they ‘couldn’t stand’  the odour.

And the Lib Dem-run council 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.

But the mother-of-seven and her husband Cetin, 50, who is himself a Turkish Muslim, appealed the decision.

After a six-month legal battle, the Planning Inspectorate finally announced they had won their case.

The council will now have to pay all of Mrs Akciecek’s legal costs plus their own, which include the costs of planning reports, lawyers’ consultations and meetings. All will be met by the public purse.

She said today: ‘This a victory for common sense but we shouldn’t have been put through this in the first place.

‘We’re just relieved it’s all over. I would like to thank the planning and environmental services who backed my appeal.

‘We had lots of support from the Muslim community. The Muslim community were infuriated by what had happened.

‘The council have got to pay our legal fees which is a great relief because we were beginning to struggle.

‘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.

‘This has really taken it out of us as a family. We were like robots, we did everything we had to do but it was always there and it caused us so much stress.

‘Now we can just get on with being a normal family.’

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.’

 Graham Webb-Lee, neighbour

Mrs Akciecek said: ‘I just think it’s just crazy. 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.

‘It’s pre-cooked so the smell isn’t as strong when we’re frying it off.

‘It’s been a sandwich shop for about eight years, cooking exactly the same stuff. The lady before me did double because they were actually building new houses across the road so she was really busy. 

‘They were there before me but they were also there when the lady who owns the business was here. She had five staff, you can imagine how busy that shop was and they never complained at all.’

The couple said that Environmental Services inspected their property after their the complaint and ruled the smell was not causing a problem – but their neighbour continued to complain.

The couple had never applied for planning permission as they had simply replaced an existing extractor fan with one of the same size and position, but they were informed by the council they would have to apply retrospectively as an objection had been raised.

They applied for planning permission in May last year, but the application was refused at a meeting of Stockport Area Committee on October 14.

Mr Webb-Lee had objected to the application, complaining that his Muslim friends refused to visit him because they ‘can’t stand the smell of bacon’.

The couple are naturally delighted with the decision to let them keep the extractor fan in place, but their neighbour Mr Webb-Lee is not happy.

He said: ‘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.’

He previously said: ‘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.’

Paul Lawrence, service director for regeneration for Stockport Council said: ‘We are pleased that the planning inspectorate has made a decision and that this issue has now been resolved.’

2 Replies to “‘A victory for common sense’: Cafe owner wins extractor fan appeal after neighbour claimed ‘smell of bacon offends Muslims’”

  1. With every complaint from Muslims about smells, crucifixes, teaching about the Holocaust and a host of other trivial and not so trivial matters, people are beginning to wake up to the fact that Muslims in general do not want to assimilate. Duh….

    So why bring them into the west?

    There is no evidence that more immigrants means more jobs. Thats a flat out lie and nobody will convince me otherwise. With millions of indigenous (ie native born) Europeans, North Americans, Australians and New Zealanders out of work already, why import Muslims and all the problems they bring?

    They have become basically parasites and need to be purged from the west, plain and simple. And if there are any Muslims who want to assimilate, where are they and why aren’t they helping combat terrorism in the name of Islam?

    Hiding behind the koran?

  2. Muslims will never assimilate, their Quaran dictates this, this is why they are muslim,there is no moderate muslims if they are true beleivers in their religious book. Some say a moderate muslim is just one that is outnumbered? Now we have muslims in Europe saying that they are being victimised and that its like they are the new Jews??, These people have only themselves to blame for the world wide backlash and anger against them,they were given an opportunity to better their lives by coming to the West and they have repaid us with the kind of hate ,violence & intolerance that they supposedly escaped from to come here, these people have been given preferential treatment and still recieve this in our societies, yet they still demand more, all the time more. Local government and national government are in many ways to blame for giving these special concessions to muslims,here in the U.K that is concessions to gaining local authourity housing before indigenous people,acceptance by the social security of multiple wives (polygamy),Halal meat being served unlabbeled in most of our supermarkets and restaraunts,the severe dumbing down of the media when it comes to crimes commited to by muslims that is disproportionate in relaton to their population size here,we have imported a criminal barbaric death cult to live among us as our so called euald(cultural relativism). Im all for live and let live and all that, but i dont want these people in my country anymore, they are destroyin it in every conceivable manner and will continue to do so until they meet their goal of turning the U.K into a 3rd world muslim ghetto. When the backlash against these intolerant people comes in Britain & Western Europe it will be a savage one.

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