Caterer Arnold & Henderson has won its battle with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, which has granted the company its planning application for continued use of its Rochelle Canteen by external visitors.
Set up by Melanie Arnold and Margot Henderson (wife of Fergus Henderson of St John fame), Arnold & Henderson is based at the Rochelle Centre in Shoreditch, where it runs a 36-seat canteen serving weekday lunches to tenants and outside visitors as well as an event catering business. It has been based in the former school building, now a cultural centre for artists and creative professionals, for the past five years.
However, the Borough of Tower Hamlets last year refused its application to continue to serve outside visitors to the Rochelle Centre or operate from the venue as a caterer for off-site events.
Arnold & Henderson appealed against the council's refusal and called on the industry to support its appeal by signing a letter to the council. Its efforts have been rewarded as the council has finally granted a licence.
General manager Martin Cohen told Caterersearch.com he was relieved to have won the battle.
"We're very excited and relieved that we can stay," he said. "We had 800 letters of support and are now looking to the future of the business."
By Kerstin Kühn
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