River Cottage waits before talking to residents about Winchester plans

3:56pm Thursday 29th November 2012

By Andrew Napier

RIVER Cottage says it is biding its time before consulting the public over its now controversial plans for a restaurant in Winchester city centre.

Many people living in the Colebrook Street area are opposing the proposal by celebrity TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for his third Canteen and Deli.

A meeting at the Guildhall on Monday was attended by around 50 people with several raising concerns about noise pollution and traffic disruption.

River Cottage has signed a lease with the city council to take over Abbey Mill, the listed building that stands next to Abbey Gardens.

In a statement the Dorset-based business said: “River Cottage is really looking forward to being part of the community at Winchester and sharing our seasonal, local, organic and wild food offer.

“The council is dealing with the planning process for change of use on the building right now and this means we are waiting til the right moment when we can fully connect with the community talk to them about our intentions for the new Canteen.

“River Cottage is fully committed to using local suppliers wherever possible and so we really hope we can have a positive impact on the local economy not just in terms of jobs but also additional trade for local food producers.”

One resident, who asked not to be named, said River Cottage should be talking to residents now: “They have surrendered the initiative to the antis needlessly. I like the plans but leaving it to the city council to explain things is leaving a lot to be desired.”

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