A dentist has objected to plans for a new Mexican restaurant in the town centre to get a booze licence.

Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) licensing committee will decide next week whether to grant a licence to Mexican chain Tortilla, which is looking to open at Unit 1, 4-6 Broad Street.

Dr Hanel Nathwani, clinical director and cosmetic dentist at Reading Smiles, said patients leaving the practice next door to a premises serving alcohol goes against the ethos of the business “from a patient journey perspective” and would “damage our excellent reputation”.

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He said the area is already heavily populated with licensed premises and another one would exacerbate the security issues the dental surgery already faces.

Mr Nathwani said the surgery had been broken into twice, forcing him to update to the security, and insurance costs would go up further if another licensed premises is added.

He added that the smell of food from Tortilla would “undoubtedly penetrate the building” and impact on patients’ relaxing and professional experience.

The dentist has asked the council not to allow drinking and eating outside the restaurant.

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But Tortilla said it has never had any complaints from neighbours at its 40 other premises.

Responding on behalf of Tortilla, planning consultant Jack Spiegler said: “All Tortillas operate in close proximity to other local businesses and/or local residents.

“Our client is proud that all of these premises operate without any complaints whatsoever.

“This is because our client’s style of operation and comprehensive management controls ensure each Tortilla premises is operate responsibly and professionally alongside all its neighbours.

“Our client is committed to adopting this approach in Reading and hopes that Tortilla will be a valued neighbour on Broad Street.”

Mr Spiegler added that no “primary cooking” will take place on site and so food smells should not enter into the dental practice.

Tortilla, which was previously a Virgin Media shop, wants to open from 8am-12.30am, 7 days a week, with sale of alcohol from 10am-midnight.

The change of use from shop to restaurant was granted in November 2019, but the premises currently only has planning permission to open until 11pm.

The owners would need to apply for planning permission before they can open and sell alcohol later than this time.

Tortilla follows the opening of similar fast food chain Taco Bell, at the Broad Street Mall, in December.