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Tom Aikens forced to close restaurant

By Becky Paskin , 29-Aug-2008

Tom Aikens forced to close restaurant

The Michelin starred chef has been forced to close Toms Place in Chelsea after relentless complaints from neighbours about the restaurant’s odour

An on-going barrage of complaints from neighbours and the local council has forced Tom Aikens to close down his eco-friendly Chelsea restaurant, Tom’s Place, until further notice.

Earlier this year tenants surrounding the property in Chelsea were up in arms over the smell of stale cooking fat emanating from the restaurant, and despite Aikens switching from beef to vegetable fat and installing a fan to disperse the odour, neighbours only moaned the problem had gotten worse.

 

Laura Benjamin, who lives next door to Tom`s Place , told the Evening Standard: “The smell is everywhere. The value of our flats has been halved and everyone is furious.”

 

A spokesman from Kensington and Chelsea Council, said: "The Council has received complaints from neighbouring residents about pungent cooking odours from the premises. An abatement notice was subsequently served on the premises for a Statutory Nuisance; however no further enforcement action was taken. " 

 

Aikens, the youngest British chef to win a Michelin star at the age of 26, has refused to comment on the situation at this time, although a spokesperson issued this statement: “Chef Tom Aikens has announced that he has closed his Chelsea fish restaurant, Tom’s Place, effective immediately. Citing ongoing difficulties and disputes with local residents and council planners over issues of air-conditioning, kitchen extraction and general business, Aikens has decided to cease trading until further notice.”

 

The eco-friendly and sustainable fish-championing restaurant was in the running to win a Time Out Eating and Drinking award for Best Sustainable Restaurant, alongside Toms Kitchen for Best Breakfast Bar.

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