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Tuesday, 17 September, 2002, 17:16 GMT 18:16 UK
TV chef embroiled in planning row
Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver fears the project could go under
Television chef Jamie Oliver claims his plans for a restaurant charity venture in east London are under threat because of a planning row.

The Naked Chef fears Fifteen, a restaurant in which to train up disadvantaged youngsters in Hackney, could be lost and cost him his home.

He began work on the eatery in Westland Place, in the trendy Old Street area earlier this year, and has already spent hundreds of thousands of pounds.

But the plans have been held up because he has been asked to rethink where he will put the restaurant's extractor flue.


The restaurant stuff is just driving me mad, I mean really mad. It's not my fault and it's my money on the line

Jamie Oliver

He said: "We've got some problem with residents and the council which looks like, at the moment, the restaurant may never open, which is really scary for me because I'm guarantor-ing it and we've spent 700,000."

He blames the council for not doing its job properly, and said it had made "various mistakes" in advertising the planning permission.

He added: "If they are telling me it can never ever have extraction it means it can never ever open, which means I've basically got 1.2m worth of kitchen and decoration in a building I can't use, which then means my house goes, simple, really simple."

But Hackney Council said it had done all it could to work with Oliver to make sure the restaurant opened.

Unfounded allegations

A spokeswoman said the application which was originally submitted in April was incomplete, and it was June before another was submitted.

The second application has been approved in principle, and as long as Mr Oliver finds another site for putting the extractor flue it will be approved.

But the council are still waiting for him to come forward with an alternative, she said.

She added: "We feel we have been very helpful, we think the allegations are completely unfounded. The ball is now in his court."

The aim was to open the restaurant this month, but it now looks unlikely to open before November, even if the row is resolved.


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See also:

20 Oct 02 | Entertainment
14 Apr 02 | Entertainment
23 Dec 01 | Entertainment
11 Apr 00 | Entertainment
24 Aug 00 | UK
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