Hundreds join call to ‘save our chippy!’

Property owners want to turn family-run York Way Fish Bar into a flat

Friday, 29th July — By Tom Foot

York Way Fish bar 08-Dursan Nalbant

Mahmut Nalbant with his son Mustafa

HUNDREDS of people have joined a campaign urging: Save our chippy!

Property owners want to turn York Way Fish bar into a one-bedroom flat – and have told the family-run business to leave.

More than 500 people, mainly from the nearby Maiden Lane estate, have signed a paper petition.

In objections to the planning department in Camden – the shop is a few yards into the neighbouring borough – one loyal customer said he had eaten fish and chips at the shop “every Friday for 40 years”.

Business owner Dursan Nalbant, who grew up in a flat facing the shop, said: “We’ve been here for 40 years, always paid our rent on time and we were just about to redecorate the place when the pandemic stopped us. So I was shocked when they said they don’t want us here.

“This is a family business. I’ve been here so long I remember before when this road was a veg market.”

Mr Nalbant, who went to nearby Robert Blair primary school, added: “We don’t make big money. If you live and work round here you know that in York Way you won’t be a millionaire, but you will manage and get your family through.

“Your kids will get an education and people will be alright. We serve the local people, the residents of the estate and the builders and workers. It’s not £15 burgers here.”

He added that rent from a one-bed flat in the area was almost the same as the rent he was paying now with his shop.

The Nalbant family are well known around York Way and Agar Grove and at the primary school where they annually help with a summer fun day BBQ.

Their landlord has told them they will not renew their lease ahead of an application to change the use of the shop.

The planning application available for public view on the council’s website and submitted on behalf of the applicant Hilmi Kurt-Elli, said the changes would be “sympathetic to the historical fabric and form of the original building and in keeping with the Camden Square Conservation Area”.

But objections have already been made to the council from neighbours.

Lee Gonzalez, who lives nearby, said: “I have got fish and chips from here every Friday for 40 years. It has served the local community during lockdown and beyond.

“There are loads of ‘affordable’ homes going up in the area and only this one chip shop. No to this.”

The application said: ““It is considered that the design of the proposed unit results in a high standard of accommodation with external amenity space and will make a small contribution towards the borough’s housing targets.”

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