A RESTAURATEUR is planning to open a new city centre venue next to two of his other businesses.

Fabio Ciampolillo has just been granted planning permission to turn a vacant building in Saddler Street, Durham, into a new restaurant and bistro.

The venue is next door to Mr Ciampolillo’s other ventures – Italian restaurant La Spaghettata and Fabio’s bar and it is planned the venues will be linked on the second floor.

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Durham County Council approved the change of use for the building, which was an accountant’s office, despite objections from police, who say Mr Ciampolillo’s premises next door already generate an unacceptable level of calls relating to noise and crime against the person.

Plans for the new restaurant, which will be called Next Door, were altered to remove a roof terrace because of concerns raised by police liaison officer Steven Drabik, who said the risk of someone falling and being seriously injured was too great following a similar incident in November 2016.

Instead, the restaurant, which will serve Venetian style cicheti, or Italian tapas, will be spread over four floors and will have a fully enclosed rear extension rather than a “sky lounge”.

Proposals for a decking area, which would have provided outdoor seating, were also removed because of police fears it would create excessive levels of noise for people living nearby.

An objection had also been made by the owner of two flats to the rear of the property, who was worried about noise, the loss of privacy and increased rubbish.

The building is currently vacant apart from a ground floor barber’s shop, which would be unaffected.

The restaurant would create two full time and eight part time jobs and is proposed will be open between 11.30am and 1am Monday to Sunday.

Approving the application, Durham County Council planners said: “While the mixed use would itself result in some anticipated increase in noise within the general locality, it is noted that the site is set within a vibrant part of the city centre which already includes a well-established evening economy and any increase in noise from patrons entering and leaving the building would be heard in this context.”

The premises was granted a licence earlier this year.

Mr Ciampolillo has had previous run-ins with Durham Police. Fabio’s bar closed for three weeks in 2013 after staff were caught selling alcohol to underage teenagers.