Dear HRRA members,

The absence of news does not mean that we have lost interest, but in many ways the last months have been relatively quiet – though some living on the High Street might have a different opinion. We continue to be involved with the Rochester City Centre Forum, whose major preoccupation has been parking arrangements during and after completion of the new railway station.

The City Wall bar’s application for a grossly over-large covered smoking area received stiff opposition. There has been no further news from Medway Council about this or the long-awaited clearance of the open area and its return to being a public amenity.

The Kebab and Chicken Hut, 148 High Street, now Rochester Chicken Hut, has re-opened and we’ll keep an eye on how it’s run. The previous operators made a habit of opening after their licensed closing time and suffered a few fines. It also acted as a magnet for drinkers after closing time. Please let us know if it becomes the focus of trouble.

A new restaurant, ‘Stanny’s Smokehouse’, opened in what was once ‘Casa Lina’, at 146 High Street. The owner has run a successful restaurant in Gillingham for some time and is well aware that neighbouring premises are occupied by residents. The manager’s phone number was willingly supplied in case of need, but there have been no problems.

‘Bow Bells Pie and Mash Shop’, 114 High Street, applied for change of use from retail to food sales for consumption on site and take-away but this was clearly an unsuitable spot for such a business. We and neighbouring residents put in objections and the Council found that the lack of waste storage, as well as other factors, made it unsuitable for its intended use.

The Crepe and Co Pancake Parlour, 2-3 College Yard, has proved a success and, as far as we know, has operated without disturbance to neighbours.

Wetherspoons, after taking over what had been Thai For Two, extended their premises further to include some hotel accommodation. No reports of additional noise etc. have been received.

We intend to hold an AGM before too long, though there’s little to report. Nothing has been spent and we don’t propose to ask for subscriptions for the time being. We retain a useful balance in case expenditure does become necessary. I would also like to add that we are very keen to welcome new people on to the committee to inject new life into the association. If you think you can make a contribution please let us know.

With kind regards,