PLANS are in the pipeline to transform a historic building into an Italian restaurant and bar.
Elizabeth and Adam Devey-Smith have applied to South Derbyshire District Council to open the Amalfi White Bar and Restaurant, at 50 Derby Road, Melbourne - the site of the former Liberal Club which was built in the 1890s.
They say the premises would be a ‘family friendly Italian inspired restaurant’ which would serve food and alcohol.
But Derbyshire Police and some councillors have raised concerns about a potentital rise in alcohol-related anti-social behaviour.
Ms Devey-Smith told the Mail the restaurant would benefit the village.
She said: “We thought there was a shortage of that type of venue in Melbourne.
“We wanted something that was a bit different to typical gastro pubs and chain restaurants.
“It’s got a bit more of an elegance and London type of feel to it.”
Ms Devey-Smith said previous plans to include a 14-room hotel in the development had now been scrapped. The building’s first floor will now be used in its original function as a public hall which can be used for weddings and parties.
Ms Devey-Smith added that she has worked with Derbyshire Police’s licensing team agreeing to all their requests in support of the application.
She said: “We know, from the feedback and encouragement from Melbourne residents that this is being celebrated and eagerly awaited.”
But in a report which will go before the council’s licensing committee next week, PC Rich Morley, of Derbyshire Police’s licensing team, said: “I believe it would lead to an increase in litter, persons loitering and congregating and an increase in alcohol consumption within this residential and business area thereby giving cause for concern.”
He added that without appropriate support ‘there is the likelihood of the potential for anti-social behaviour and other crime that could be attributed to alcohol consumption’.
Councillor Jim Hewlett, who represents Melbourne on the district council, has also submitted written objections to the plans.
He said: “No doubt this is an attempt at continental café culture, and it could be an attractive feature in the daytime.
“But the sort of noise and behaviour associated with evening drinking in Britain is totally unacceptable so close to housing.”