An elderly neighbour who feared a new Latin cocktail bar and restaurant in Falmouth could “finish my days in torture” has now said the business is “creditable” and he has no desire for a fight.

Becky Biddle applied to Cornwall Council for a premises licence for Chachacha’s, which will be based in the Engravers Cottage, Arwenack Street, Falmouth.

However, 85-year-old neighbour Darrell Needham had opposed the application to sell alcohol up to 11.30pm and play recorded music until midnight at weekends fearing the impact of noise.

He wrote to the council, stating: “Imagine my complete horror when I was informed yesterday afternoon that the Engraver’s Cottage was about to be developed as a music centre, bar and restaurant. Why have I not been informed about this before? This means my complete ruination as I live closer than anyone else. I should have been the first to be informed.

“My home is just a few feet behind the Engraver’s Cottage and therefore the most affected. It will be noisy, noisy, noisy from midday till very late.”


The new Chachacha\s bar will be situated behind Amanzi\s off Arwenack Street in Falmouth (Google Maps)

The new Chachacha\'s bar will be situated behind Amanzi\'s off Arwenack Street in Falmouth (Google Maps)


However, Mr Needham changed his mind after hearing Ms Biddle speak at a meeting of the council’s licensing committee today (Wednesday, January 31).

Ms Biddle told councillors that although her new restaurant and bar would be situated in the town’s Cumulative Impact Zone (CIZ) – which aims to reduce anti-social behaviour associated with areas where there are a large amount of licensed premises – Chachacha’s would not have a negative impact as it would be a casual dining-style restaurant offering something new for Falmouth and there would only be background music played indoors.

“It won’t impact the neighbours as it won’t be noisy – I doubt they’ll know I’m there,” she said, pointing out that her premises would be between two existing pubs, the Chain Locker and the Quayside Inn.

She suggested that Mr Needham was worried because it was reported by a local newspaper that it would be a music venue, which is not the case. She said Chachacha’s, which will employ around six people, will specialise in Latino food, serving the likes of quesadillas, tacos and fish dishes.

Cllr Debra Clegg, of Falmouth Town Council, said the applicant was known to the council for operating “some very well-run businesses with no issues of trouble”. She added: “It is in the CIZ but the offering is different enough from the others, which are probably more noisy than the one she’s proposing.”


Chachacha\s will be based below Amanzi\s African restaurant heading towards the harbour off Arwenack Street in Falmouth (Pic: Google Maps)

Chachacha\'s will be based below Amanzi\'s African restaurant heading towards the harbour off Arwenack Street in Falmouth (Pic: Google Maps)


Mr Needham was given the chance to address the licensing committee. He said: “I’m amazed that I didn’t know anything about this – it was thrown at me. What you’ve said now I can relate to.

"The noise was worrying me more than anything, but it’s marvellous we’re all talking together. I think it’s creditable what I’ve heard – I’m not up for a fight.

“I had 24 hours to get an objection in and I panicked, I just wanted peace amongst neighbours. Listening to you is encouraging. I just want peace and quiet.”

Ms Biddle reassured Mr Needham that he shouldn’t be able to hear the music inside the restaurant from his home. “We don’t want to upset the neighbours at all. I just want to make a good impact on Falmouth,” she added.

The licence was granted.