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Popular meal kit service Pasta Evangelists has announced plans to open its second restaurant in London, which will also offer takeaway meals and pasta cooking classes.

The fresh pasta maker already has a branch near Harrods and wants to open another in Richmond city centre.

However, local residents have raised concerns about the plans submitted to Richmond City Council, particularly as the Hill Street venue is located in a cumulative impact zone where the granting of permits is strictly limited to avoid additional disruption to the area.

Peter Willan, representing the Friends of Richmond Green and the Richmond Society, told the City Council’s licensing hearing on July 2 that he did not believe it was necessary for the restaurant to serve alcohol.

Noting that thousands of people visit Richmond on summer weekends, Willan said: “I think it’s just another takeaway and frankly the city is full of licensed establishments that are in serious trouble.”

“In my opinion, many restaurants, especially those in the mid-price segment, are in big trouble.

“If you go around town … they just have to close some days of the week and there’s nobody there on the weekdays. So I think there’s a lot of cause for concern if we add alcohol, and hopefully we can be successful even without it.”

READ MORE: Pasta Evangelists could open in Richmond

If the plans are approved, the restaurant could serve alcohol Monday to Sunday between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. and stay open 30 minutes longer.

Lawyer Mark Browning, representing applicant Amish Patel, director of Ara Pasta Limited, said Pasta Evangelists was looking to expand by opening new restaurants and this would be its second outlet – bringing something “exciting” to Richmond.

He said Mr Patel had initially requested significantly longer opening hours but had since shortened them to a “reasonable time” and agreed to conditions to address residents’ concerns.

Mr Browning argued that the licence should be granted as an exception to the council’s cumulative impact policy because the restaurant was small and would not encourage drinking, as alcohol could only be sold to customers consuming a meal.

He added: “Pasta Evangelists’ main goal is to introduce authentic Italian pasta to the Richmond community and hopes to get people excited about pasta making, which is a fundamental part of it.”

Richmond City Council will announce its decision on the application in the next few days.

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