THERE are plans to open a shisha lounge in Hereford.

Ardalan Ghafour has asked Herefordshire Council for permission to open the bar to at the back of 8 Belmont Road.

A shisha is a glass-bottomed water pipe in which fruit-flavoured tobacco is covered with foil and roasted with charcoal.

Waterpipe smoking is a traditional practice in the Middle East and southern Asia.

The planning statement submitted in support of the scheme says it is becoming popular in western countries, particularly among younger people and its use is higher among black and minority ethnic groups.

“Mr Ghafour wishes to provide a facility and venue where cultural traditions that he understands can be enjoyed by a community that he knows well,” the statement reads.

“He sees this enterprise as offering something to enable like-minded people to come together and enjoy each other’s company, and to be able to partake in a traditional custom.

“He would like to be able to offer shisha in Hereford for the first time.”

The planning statement says the proposals are complaint with the Smokefree Premises and Enforcement Regulations 2006.

Residents have until November 14 to have their say on the plans which the council is expected to consider it by November 26.