Could care home replace Watermead’s lakeside restaurant?

A10 WEEK 36'MCBH'rd'Hamid Pardis outside the Riviera
A10 WEEK 36'MCBH'rd'Hamid Pardis outside the Riviera

A RESTAURANT owner has put in a bid to knock down his business and build a care home facing Watermead Lake – but says he has not made a decision on whether to close down.

Hamid Pardis, who runs The Riviera in Watermead, said he still hopes to carry on his business, even if the plans get permission. An application to demolish the restaurant and replace it with a 60 bedroom residential home has been lodged with Aylesbury Vale District Council.

Mr Pardis, who has owned the site and the lake for the past 11 years, said: “I want to keep the business open, I don’t want people to think the application means I am shutting down.”

But he conceded that trade is difficult for restaurants in the current climate, which meant he is weighing-up his options.

The 59-year-old said: “I don’t know what will happen yet, I just want to see what will happen with the planning permission.

“At the moment everyone knows restaurants are not doing that well.”

He said he has weighed up numerous options for the site, and thinks a care home is an option worth looking at.

“It would be good for the people of Watermead because it’s quite relaxing, it’s got a good view and it’s a beautiful area.”

Financial reports for the Riviera have been sent to the district council alongside the application.

The restaurant building had initially been expected to sit alongside a ski slope, but the ski slope is currently sitting abandoned and overgrown.

Planning documents submitted to the council state that if the care home goes ahead it would contain four buildings with rooms designed to face over the park.

A planning statement, prepared by Banks Design Architects, also states that a care home would provide jobs for the surrounding area.

District councillor Alan Ward, who represents Elmhurst and Watermead, said the move has already divided opinion.

Mr Ward, Conservative, told the Herald: “I’ve already heard a divergence of opinion.

“There will be those that say the proposed development would create jobs and that Aylesbury must be open for business.

“Equally many people will think a second care home in Watermead is undesirable and brings little social benefit to a community where many younger families have set up home.”

He vowed to listen to viewpoints before responding to the planning application.