Families' protest at pizza chain plan for Thorpe

Kim BriscoeA pizza delivery chain is hoping to open a new outlet on the outskirts of Norwich, but families fear it will be noisy, smelly and lead to more litter.Kim Briscoe

A pizza delivery chain is hoping to open a new outlet on the outskirts of Norwich, but families fear it will be noisy, smelly and lead to more litter.

Domino's Pizza has applied for permission to turn a shop which has been empty for more than a year into a takeaway at Plumstead Road East, Thorpe St Andrew.

A total of 28 objections have been made by neighbouring families and businesses, with most concerned about increased noise and disturbance from cars, increased litter and vermin, and that the long opening hours could encourage people to hang around the premises, potentially causing anti-social behaviour.

Owners of the flats above the unit, in Bodmin Court, are worried they will be able to smell the food from the takeaway, particularly on their patio and terrace areas.

Thorpe St Andrew Town Council has also lodged strong objections to the plan, saying that this type of retail unit is better suited to the adjacent shopping centres at the Heartsease roundabout and Plumstead Road, and to 'allow sprawl into Plumstead Road East is not acceptable'.

Domino's plans to open the takeaway from 11am to 11pm, Monday to Saturday, but staff will be on site earlier to accept deliveries and to prepare for opening.

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A spokesman for Domino's Pizza said: 'We currently have three Domino's stores in Norwich, which employ a total of around 75 people, and have identified Thorpe St Andrew as also having great potential for pizza.

'We have submitted a planning application for a new store on Plumstead Road East. If successful, opening a new store there would generate 25 to 35 new jobs for local people and it would be operated as a local business.

'Domino's Pizza strives to be a good neighbour in every location in which it is based and our franchisees work very hard to play an active role in the community, not only to deliver great-tasting pizza but also to support numerous local charities, groups and events. 'Over 70pc of all orders are delivered as customers typically prefer not to wait in the store while their pizza is freshly made. 'Domino's does not offer any eat-in facilities and encourages all customers to take their food home to eat.'

Planning officers for Broadland District Council are recommending the application is approved, subject to various conditions, when it is brought before its planning committee on Wednesday, May 12.

The report says that given the lack of interest in the premises, which was placed on the open market in March 2009, a change of use could be considered.

While it recognises that the flats above are most likely to affected, the report says that the installation of a suspended ceiling would dampen sound to a degree so that it will not have a significant adverse impact.

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk.