A takeaway restaurant in Reading has been criticised for failing to deal with a “pungent and overpowering” smell.

People living over 150 metres away from Pepe’s Piri Piri at 109b Oxford Road have been complaining about a strong smell of burnt grease.

“This odour situation is huge,” said Cllr Karen Rowland.

“When it originally came in 2018, I never suspected the odour would impinge on residents.

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“I don’t know what I would have done if I’d know what we were going to have to live in was this.

“I never suspected that I myself, living some 65 metres away, would be subjected to it.

“There are people up and down the street whose houses actually just permanently smell like this.”

Cllr Tony Page added: “The smells are pungent and overpowering. The complaints we’ve had have not been exaggerated.”

In 2018, Express Team Ltd was granted planning permission to convert an empty betting shop into a takeaway restaurant.

The company was ordered by the council to outline plans for an effective extraction and ventilation system before construction began – but it failed to comply with that order.

The council said the “works are unauthorised” and the owners responded by submitting a retrospective planning application.

At a meeting on March 31, the council’s Planning Applications Committee said it could not approve that application until the owners have drawn up plans to install an effective odour extraction system.

Gulraiz Siddique, representing the owners, admitted the odour problem has “created a lot of friction”.

He said the company is working with the franchisee that runs the restaurant to fix the kitchen filtration system.

“The existing equipment is fine, but there are certain elements that need to be updated,” he said.

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“They need to add some actual components to it, like a UV filter, which then will eliminate that smell.

“There should not be any smell whatsoever.”

The council’s Planning Applications Committee will make a decision on the planning application when it meets on April 28.