Smell of chocolate is ‘degrading our lives’

No Caption ABCDE SUS-140331-132824003
No Caption ABCDE SUS-140331-132824003

THE ‘PERSISTENT odour of chocolate’ from a back garden business has been at the centre of a bitter dispute between neighbours, councillors heard.

Chocolate-making duo Suzanne James and Carlos Mendez built a tiny shed at the bottom of their garden in Queen Street, Worthing, last year to produce their products.

But they were quickly met with complaints from next-door neighbours Rebecca and Robert Rocheleau, who alleged the smell of chocolate and business activity, among other concerns, were ‘degrading’ their quality of life.

Matters came to a head at a meeting of Worthing Borough Council’s planning committee last Wednesday, with members refusing to accept any enforcement action was needed.

Mrs Rocheleau told councillors: “They said we are the chocolate factory which no-one knows is here.

“Let me introduce myself. I am no-one. I am no-one that knows they are there and I want you to be in no doubt of how I feel.”

The dispute began in May, 2013, when the Rocheleaus took exception to the outbuilding, which had been built to experiment with the production of chocolate.

They raised concern that the level of business activity had increased to a stage which would require planning permission.

Noise was also noted as an issue and police were even called to investigate an allegation of online harassment of the Rocheleaus.

No complaints were received from other neighbours.

For the full story, see the Worthing Herald, out Thursday, May 15.