A FAST-FOOD boss’ appeal to open two restaurants until 4am over the Christmas period was turned down after 45 minutes of deliberation by councillors on Tuesday.

Serkan Ustugul, owner of Chicken Pizza Express, in Quay Street, and Kebab Express, in High Street, both in Haverfordwest, made an application to extend opening hours of both restaurants until 4am from December 27 to January 2.

But the applications were turned down by the licensing sub-committee after councillors decided the extension would have an adverse impact on the local community.

Pollution control officer David Walters identified noise nuisance, light pollution, food smells and litter as the main concerns.

He said: “We haven’t got a city centre, we have a market town centre, and consideration needs to be for all the residents in the area.”

But George Allingham, who represented Mr Ustugul at the meeting, said that the owner was not asking to create anything new because Kebab Express already had a licence for late night refreshment until 3am on a Friday and Saturday.

He said: “One other premises which operates off Castle Square has a late night refreshment licence through to 5am. That facility is already there, and there’s only one, so it attracts all the custom. There are long queues and people can get frustrated.

“The demand is there to spread out to three or four other premises, so you get quicker service and quicker dispersal of people, and there is less bother for everybody.”

He added that a previous application by Mr Ustugul, to extend opening hours during a Six Nations match, was granted.

But Mr Walters said the extension would increase the length of time people were out in the town centre.

He said: “Where does it stop? There has to be a cut-off point for licences. They are getting later and later, extending the time that people can be loud.”

Sub-committee chairman Cllr Daphne Bush said although CCTV had been installed at the premises, there was no way staff could police the number of people coming into the restaurant at one time. Councillors rejected the temporary event applications because no control mechanism could be imposed to promote licensing objectives.