Son protests against judge's bid to close 'smelly' Chinese restaurant

EXCLUSIVE: Senior judge demanding closure of Chinese restaurant over cooking smells wafting into his £525k home loved to EAT THERE, says his son

  • The Summer Palace near Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff has been open 30 years
  • But it has been in a dispute with resident Lord Justice Sir Gary Hickinbottom
  • He and his wife left shocked by the noise and smells emanating from the kitchen
  • The couple reported their concerns to Cardiff Council, leading to fan installation
  • But restaurant failed to get proper permission for the fan and owner faces court 

Lord Justice Sir Gary Hickinbottom (pictured)

A senior judge demanding closure of Chinese restaurant over cooking smells wafting into his £525,000 home loved to eat there, says his son 

Lord Justice Sir Gary Hickinbottom, 64, was a regular customer at the family-run restaurant he now wants shut down over aromas emanating from the kitchen after moving in nearby.

His estranged son Emyr Hughes accused him of hypocrisy and called on his father to end his dispute with the Summer Palace in Llandaff, Cardiff.

Speaking to MailOnline, Mr Hughes, 32, said: ‘It’s typical of my father, trying to bully people.

‘People need to know that he used to be a regular customer there and loved the Chinese food.

‘But, after moving next-door, now he wants to close the place down because of the smell.’

Judge Hickinbottom and his wife Lady Georgina complained after buying the property near the Summer Palace which has been there for 32 years.

Cardiff Council environmental health chiefs upheld the judge’s complaint over smells and noise coming from the kitchen.

The judge is in dispute with The Summer Palace (pictured) overlooking the historic grounds of Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff, over cooking aromas that are wafting into his £525,000 home 

The restaurant, which has a five-star food hygiene rating, installed a new extractor fan but failed to get proper permission for it and now faces prosecution.

The judge’s son, a Cardiff-based entrepreneur and businessman, said: ‘He lives in London, it’s a second home, it’s not as if he lives there all the time.  

The judge’s son Emyr Hughes, 32, (above) has sided with the restaurant in the argument

‘He’s picked on a well-established and much loved restaurant – I wish he would back off and stop what he’s doing. He’s abusing his position to get his own way.’ 

Mr Hughes plans to meet with restaurant manager Wai Chim to support his fight against his father who was knighted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2009. 

‘If you buy a house next to a Chinese restaurant you can expect cooking smells, he probably got his place cheaper because of it.’ 

Mr Hughes took his mother’s maiden name after his parent’s divorce 18 years ago and now has very little contact with his father.

Lord Justice Hickinbottom was appointed to the Privy Council in 2017 following his appointment as Lord Justice of Appeal and has sat on many high profile cases including the challenge to the third runway at Heathrow Airport.

He and his lawyer wife, who also own a property in South West London, bought their grade-II listed home in the conservation area of Llandaff in 2016.

Their campaign has angered locals who say the Summer Palace is a vibrant business in Llandaff High Street and part of the fabric of the village.

Mr Hughes a successful entrepreneur based in Cardiff took to Twitter to support the restaurant and told MailOnline he is trying to bully it into closure

The much loved restaurant – where the judge himself was a customer – was taken to court this week by Cardiff Council over its £20,000 extractor fan fitted to alleviate the cooking smells

Wales’s First Minister Mark Drakeford and ex-rugby star and TV pundit Jonathan Davies have come out in support of the Summer Palace.

Conservative Councillor Sean Driscoll said: ‘It’s a bit like buying a house near a train station then complaining about the noise from the trains. Or near to a farmyard then complain about the smell from animals.

‘What is next, are they going to complain to the Cathedral about the sound of the church bells? 

The restaurant was taken to court this week by Cardiff Council over its £20,000 extractor fan fitted to alleviate the cooking smells.

But the case was adjourned at the last minute while both parties try to find a solution out of court.

Meanwhile former Welsh rugby player Jonathan Davies OBE said if the restaurant were to shut down it would be a ‘travesty’

Judge Hickinbottom and his wife are applying for planning permission for an extension to their second-home which is near the restaurant.

Lady Georgina Hickinbottom told MailOnline her husband was prevented from commenting because of his position within the judiciary. 

Referring to the ongoing dispute she said: ‘The restaurant breached an abatement notice, that was their decision. It’s a lawful process. 

‘We have bent over backwards to engage with out neighbours who for whatever reason don’t want to engage with us.’ 


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