Business boss ‘relief’ as planning saga ends

Mr Arshid Mehmood outside his shop in Colne where he has finally been given planning permission to open the Shaan Curry House.'Photo Ben Parsons
Mr Arshid Mehmood outside his shop in Colne where he has finally been given planning permission to open the Shaan Curry House.'Photo Ben Parsons

A business owner has spoken out about the frustration, financial strain and ultimate relief that he felt throughout the Pendle Council planning procedure.

Arshid Mehmood’s application to transform his retail shop into a hot food takeaway, initially appeared before the Colne and District Committee in September. It was deferred so that a site visit could take place, before being turned down at the October meeting.

The plans had been recommended for approval, but were rejected after concerns were raised over parking and potential disruption to neighbours.

Now Mr Mehmood (43), who has been based in North Valley Road for the past nine years, has said he is happy his “nightmare few months” are over, and that his proposals have finally been accepted by the Development Management Committee. He will be opening the doors to Shaan Curry House, in the coming weeks.

The former lorry driver said: “I was very nervous going to the Development Management Committee meeting, because I had been left very very disappointed by the Colne and District Committee. I was very surprised with how they dealt with it. I have not been working for the past two months, because I have been waiting for this to go through.

“I was struggling with my finances, and it has put me in stress. It has had a devastating affect on my family.

“I believe in myself. and I believe that God gave me two hands and a brain to work.

“It was really really frustrating, because I believed in something and I was doing everything right.

“I have never had any problems with parking or nuisance.”

Mr Mehmood is hopeful that his new venture will allow him to spend more time with his family, will bring authentic and homemade Indian food to Colne, and will have a positive impact on surrounding businesses.

Since moving to Pendle, he said that he has fallen in love with Colne, and tries to involve himself in community activities whenever he can.

He added: “I have three kids and I want to give them some time.

“As a shop owner, you work morning to evening, 7am to 10pm, so at least now I will have early hours with them, and afternoon hours with them.

“I am very very excited about opening and thankful to the Development Management Committee.”

Responding to Mr Mehmood’s experiences, Neil Watson, Pendle Council’s planning and building control manager, said: “The planning application went through the normal processes that the council has for planning applications.

“The application was discussed in detail based on its planning merits and a decision was taken accordingly.”