|Acton Shisha Cafe Fined|
Planning regulations breached and smoking laws ignored
An Acton shisha café has been fined more than £9,000 following complaints from local residents.
The business at 12-14, The Vale, Acton, had planning permission to operate as a shop, but traded as a Mrad Shisha Café. Planning officers visited the cafe several times but the business ignored warnings.
Ealing Council brought the business to court after it ignored a planning enforcement notice issued in August 2012 to cease operating as a café and shisha pipe lounge and revert to a shop.
Smoking laws were also ignored at the café. Regulatory services and police officers visited the café on a number of occasions and found groups of customers smoking shisha pipes in largely unventilated areas at the front and rear of the café. Shisha smoking involves inhaling smoke from flavoured tobacco through a water pipe.
An area at the rear of the café was partially enclosed with polythene sheets and heavy cloth that did not meet the minimum legal requirement of 50% permanent ventilation. Customers were also seen shisha smoking close to the front café entrance which opened out onto the pavement.
Rwad Mrad, former director of Roni Trade Limited which operates the café, pleaded guilty at Ealing Magistrates Court on Thursday 4 April, 2013 to four smoking related charges as the person having control of the premises. He was fined £500 for each offence. Mr Mrad also pleaded guilty to the breach of planning regulations and was fined £5,000. In addition the court ordered him to pay the council’s legal costs of £2,578.10 and a victim’s surcharge of £15 which brought the total to £9,593.10.
Ealing Council leader, Julian Bell said: “Not only was this business flouting planning laws, it was also putting the health of its customers and staff at risk by wilfully disregarding smoking regulations.
“Some people may think that shisha smoking is less harmful than having a cigarette but that is not the case and smoking laws apply in the same way.”
15th April 2013