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Belfast's Cyprus Avenue restaurant owner in dark over probe into 'planning breaches'

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Probe: Cyprus Avenue restaurant

Probe: Cyprus Avenue restaurant

Probe: Cyprus Avenue restaurant

Belfast City Council has confirmed that a restaurant is currently under investigation for allegedly breaching planning rules.

However, owner of east Belfast's Cyprus Avenue Richard McCracken claimed he had not been contacted regarding any issue and that no changes have been made to the premises since it opened in 2017.

It is understood the Upper Newtownards Road restaurant is alleged to have breached planning permission following the installation of an extract ventilation system and additional windows, as well as building its kitchen too high.

Belfast City Council said that it is carrying out an enforcement investigation regarding planning approval for developments at the premises. But Mr McCracken insisted: "We have been open for over three years, we have made no changes in this time.

"We have had no contact from planning regarding any issue.

"We are an independent restaurant negotiating our way through a pandemic."

Cyprus Avenue opened its doors in January 2017, employing 25 people.

The restaurant was named after the east Belfast street made famous by Van Morrison's eponymous song.

Head chef and owner Mr McCracken trained under Michelin-starred chef Tom Kitchin before working in a Paris restaurant for another Michelin-starred chef, Helene Darroze.

He returned home in 2015. In November 2018 the restaurant completed a £750,000 expansion project, doubling its space and creating another 18 jobs.

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic Cyprus Avenue offered a takeaway service for its customers.

Belfast Telegraph