PLANS to convert a disused café in Christchurch into a restaurant have drawn opposition from people living nearby.

Objectors have warned approving plans for The Ducking Stool to open as late as 10pm seven days a week from the former tea rooms would create “yet another alcohol-fuelled trauma”.

But business owner Daniel Murrell said the restaurant would be “food-led” with alcohol only sold “to enhance the customer’s dining experience”.

His application for a licence for the disused tea rooms and café in Ducking Stool Lane was submitted last month.

It has not opened for several years and planning permission is in place for its demolition and replacement with a house.

The licence application seeks approval for the restaurant to open from 12-10pm daily and includes the sale of alcohol both in the building and to take off-site.

“As the business will be food-led, the selection of the alcohol menu has been designed to enhance the customer’s dining experience,” it says.

“The nature of the alcohol that we intend to sell is such that it will not appeal to individuals looking to buy cheap alcohol in large quantities.”

It adds that a new CCTV system would be installed to deter any potential problems.

Despite this, the plans have drawn seven objections from people living nearby, meaning a decision will now have to be made by a BCP Council licensing sub-committee on Monday (December 14).

Concerns centre around potential issues of anti-social behaviour and crime related to the sale of alcohol.

Nick Solloway, who lives in Ducking Stool Lane, said the area was “quiet and historic” and “not compatible for a restaurant and certainly not for the sale of alcohol”.

His fears are echoed by other objectors who said it would “exacerbate” existing issues and be “enormously detrimental”.

Neighbour Melanie Alarcon said the restaurant would be better suited in the High Street.

“It would be most inappropriate to grant a licence to sell alcohol to a premises which has never been a bar or restaurant in a historic backwater of Christchurch,” she said.

Because of the objections, a decision on whether to grant the licence will be made by councillors when they meet on Monday.