Residents kick up a stink

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PONTELAND residents have kicked up a stink about odours from a new restaurant.

Earlier this year, The New Rendezvous moved from Darras Hall into the former Smithy Bistro in Bell Villas.

It installed an extraction system but it has had some difficulties meeting the appropriate levels of odour control.

This has meant people living in Ryehaugh are having to deal with strong smells, which they have complained about to Northumberland County Council.

One of the residents, Jennifer Hardy, said: “As a result of the extraction system we are bombarded, at times, with pungent, unpleasant odours, which meant that people have been unable to enjoy their gardens this summer and autumn.

“There have been letters, telephone calls, meetings, and a log kept since February, but the situation has still not been resolved.

“As Northumberland County Council is unable or unwilling to exercise any effective control over the restaurant, we have no faith that it will do so with the proposed bar and bistro at 9 Bell Villas.”

A complicating factor is that the restaurant is in a Listed Building, so any design has to have due regard to its historic status.

A county council spokesman said: “We are looking into issues related to odour from the kitchen extraction system at the New Rendezvous in Ponteland, which has been the cause of complaints to the council.

“Improvements to the system have been identified and we are working with the business to find the most practical solution.”

The restaurant’s owner Kevin Liu said: “We did some drawings of how the changed extraction system would look and the county council had some questions about them.

“We have now answered those questions and are waiting for a response. Hopefully, our solution will be able to satisfy the council and the residents.”