BOSSES at a restaurant in Greenmount have won their bid to extend opening hours on the condition that there are no complaints about noise.

The owners of the Village Bistro, on Vernon Road, submitted a proposal to extend their opening hours from 7am to 7pm to 8am to 9pm, due to lack of trade in the evenings, as a result of Covid-19.

Claire Belasi, owner of the business, spoke at a Bury Council planning control committee meeting on December 14 to explain why the business has struggled over lockdown.

Ms Belasi: “We’re a small, family-run business that employs a lot of local people that opened until 7pm and did a lot for people in the area.

“But since Covid-19 many of our customers have stopped coming back because they are scared.

“This is not just because of Covid, but because they have been stuck inside and are used to staying in their homes.

“Our customer base has gone down by 25 per cent so as a business we are on our knees, trying to survive until we can get an extension to our opening hours.

“At the moment, they tend to only arrive in the evenings, at around six or half six when they finish work, and because we currently have to close at seven, we are getting no trade in the evenings.

“We’re not licensed and don’t serve alcohol, people don’t leave our business smelling of drink or causing trouble - that’s not the kind of customer we serve.”

The application was passed with a unanimous vote and no additional comments made by councillors.

Cllr Cristina Tegolo, later told The Bury Times: “These are premises that are not selling alcohol and because of the emergency of Covid-19, they have found themselves in a very tough position.

“Because of this emergency we’re having at the moment, they have struggled during lockdown, so for me this is a no-brainer because we must help these businesses through these hard times.

“We want the business to be as flexible as possible and thrive in the New Year.”