A new Turkish restaurant has defended its plans to open until as late as midnight on a South London housing estate after residents raised fears about disturbances late at night.

A lawyer for Turkuaz Kingston said the business didn’t want the venue to become “yet another” empty unit plaguing high streets at the moment.

Turkuaz would open on the site of the old Byron in Kingston if the licence is approved.

Barrister Marcus Lavell told Kingston Council’s licensing committee on January 10 that nearby restaurants on Charter Quay had shut down.

He said: “The unit is not only unoccupied but there is no lease in place with the applicant – that is pending the grant of the successful licence application.

“So that’s why we’re here today to hopefully dictate that this will be a successfully operated unit moving forward and not yet another ground floor vacant unit that all of our high streets are suffering from at the moment, especially post-Covid.” 

He added: “You’re looking at an experienced operator who operates successfully throughout the country and is expanding and we’re very much here for the long-term.”

The restaurant applied to the council to sell booze, play music and show films at the venue on Jerome Place until 11pm from Mondays to Wednesdays and  on Sundays, and until midnight from Thursdays to Saturdays.

That has now been amended so the venue would only open until 11pm on Thursdays.

Resident Katy Pullen, who has been living at Charter Quay since 2005, said if the restaurant shuts at midnight “your window to sleep as a resident, particularly with the bedrooms facing straight onto the piazza, becomes somewhat constrained and that’s certainly not ideal on a Thursday when you’ve got to get up for work on a Friday”.

Ms Pullen said: “It has been sad in recent years to see the number of businesses not succeeding in the piazza compared to Griffin Arcade which seems to have come back to life and I think as residents we want to see that as part of the appeal of living here, it’s vibrant.

"I think it just boils down to one issue for me which is opening until 11.30pm/midnight.” 

She added: “Not a single restaurant on the site opens till 11.30pm between Monday and Wednesday, none are open until midnight on a Thursday with obviously Friday being a working day and none are open until 11.30pm on a Sunday.” 

Mr Lavell said: “My client would like as much flexibility as possible to make a success of the site and I appreciate very much Ms Pullen’s concerns for noise nuisance going into the bedrooms as anybody who knows the site will understand the proximity.”

He added: “Certainly on Fridays and Saturdays they’re not known as specifically school nights – the chance to maximise the number of people that may be able to come in, the number of seatings, makes a big difference to a premises such as this.”

Mr Lavell said “restaurant-based noise” would be expected “as opposed to the loud music you might expect in a bar although music can be played and with the conditions imposing effectively a criminal sanction for causing disturbance above, it will be down to the operator to ensure that they put in sufficient noise-attenuating material that they don’t breach the condition”.