Cafe Owner Is Forced To Shut Down After Neighbors Complain About The Smell Of Bacon

In a startling turn of events, a cafe owner, Emma Ayles, was forced to close her business, leaving eight workers unemployed, after three neighbors complained about the cafe’s operations. The complaints largely concerned the smell of bacon and the sound of clinking teacups, prompting planning officials to take immediate action. Emma Ayles, a 47-year-old mother of two, revealed her heartbreak about losing her business shortly before Christmas due to an unexpected closure.

The controversy erupted after officials concluded that The Caddy Shack Cafe, a popular establishment run by Emma, was causing “unacceptable harm” to the living conditions of nearby residents. Emma had set up the cafe in April 2022, converting a metal shipping container into a cozy cafe, in collaboration with Weymouth and Portland Rugby Club in Dorset. Initially, the rugby club had allowed her to temporarily operate on their land while she pursued permanent planning permission for the cafe.

The cafe quickly became a popular site among the locals, attracting walkers, schoolchildren, and disabled people riding mobility scooters. It served as a gathering place for a variety of groups, establishing a feeling of community and creating a welcome environment for all.

However, the peace was broken when three homeowners living near the cafe had issues about “noise and odor” coming from the establishment in October 2022. These allegations prompted Dorset Council to deny Emma’s application for retrospective planning permission in February, and her subsequent appeal was also dismissed, leaving her with no recourse.

Emma expressed her frustration, adding, “It’s been a constant battle, and so stressful, wondering if the business will be open every week, and then on Saturday I was ordered to close the next day. It’s shortly before Christmas, and I’ve had to let go eight staff members who have children or are students. It was a terrible conversation to have with them, and no one understands why they shut us down. “Everyone is shocked.”

The complaints cited the “smell of bacon” and the sounds of “teaspoons and teacups” as sources of disturbance. Emma found these objections ludicrous and mentioned that the prevailing wind direction usually carried any bacon scent away from the complainants’ residence. She humorously quipped, “What do they want us to do, use chocolate teacups so there is no sound?”

Emma also criticized the council’s decision, expressing concern for the community members who frequented her cafe, including students from the Wyvern School and disabled individuals who found it accessible for mobility scooters. She highlighted the impact on her loyal customers, saying, “I just feel bad for the community as groups met at the cafe every day.”

The appeal against the planning decision was submitted by Weymouth and Portland Rugby Club, who stated that they were disappointed with the judgment’s impact on both players and the local community. Anthony Goss, the chairman of the club, emphasized the difficulty faced by small businesses in a challenging economic climate and expressed gratitude to the cafe’s loyal customers for their support.

The decision to close the cafe has sparked outrage on social media, with many individuals expressing their disbelief at the complaints and the subsequent action taken. One social media user, Kati Eastwood, sarcastically commented on the complaints about teacup noise and bacon smell, while another, Jon Fells, spoke highly of the cafe and lamented its closure.

This contentious episode has prompted questions about the appropriate balance between supporting local companies and addressing people’ concerns. It is unclear whether any other steps will be taken to remedy the matter, or if the decision to close The Caddy Shack Cafe would be reconsidered.

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