An Indian restaurant is to open in South Harrow, despite protests from residents, who fear an increase in noise and disruption.

A Harrow Council licensing panel has granted permission for Oxygen Chettinad Bar and Restaurant in Alexandra Avenue to open.

The restaurant will specialise in Chettinad cuisine, from the Chettinad region in Southern India, and the owner has been keen to promote it as 'upmarket'.

But nearby residents were furious such a premises was to be set up near their homes, worried this would increase late night noise and anti-social behaviour in their area.

In a letter to Harrow Council a group of residents from Alexandra Avenue wrote: "As we are all out at work during the day we feel that these late night activities would disrupt our home environment and would make it very difficult for us to get a decent night's sleep in order for us to carry out our working lives and therefore strongly object to the issuing of these licences which would completely disrupt any nomal way of life.

"These flats [their homes] would not be able to cope with such noise and we feel it is unfair that we should be subjected to this type of environment when all we want is some peace and quite in our homes like everyone else."

Another resident, Massimo Giammuso, wrote to the council saying: "If a licence to stay open until 1am was granted, the result would be an increase in drunkenness-based disorder and an increase in anti-social behaviour.

"Unfortunately, I can see and hear all this going on, sometimes until 2am with great aggravation for a peaceful living."

When granting the licence, councillors scaled back the requested opening hours of the bar and restaurant by an hour at the end of evening, meaning the public can drop in for a meal between 11am-11pm Sunday to Thursday and 11am-midnight Friday and Saturday.

Proprietor Sellathurai Lingarajah, a 32-year-old chef said: "I'm fairly happy but I'm not happy about the reduction of hours because my neighbour two doors away has a licence until 12.30am every day. I'm sure the council didn't have any objections but the tenants are the ones causing the problem." He believes his restaurant would be popular as it will serve a

Southern Indian cuisine rarely seen in Britain, which involves lots of spices and is hotter than 'typical' Indian food.

Mr Lingarajah, of Parkmead, Harrow, added: "This is my first business and I want it up and running by the end of this month. It will definitely work out."

He also said residents had told him they would appeal the council's decision, but Harrow Council's licensing department had not received any notification of any appeal last week.