‘Too many takeaways’ claim as green light means there could be another

An empty property in Aylsham Crescent in Norwich could become a cafe/takeaway. Pic: Dan Grimmer

An empty property in Aylsham Crescent in Norwich could become a cafe/takeaway. Pic: Dan Grimmer - Credit: Archant

The green light has been given for a new café or takeaway to be created in a building that has stood empty for almost a decade, despite concerns there are already too many similar businesses in the area.

Labour city councillor Jacob Huntley. Picture: David Hannant

Labour city councillor Jacob Huntley. Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant

Plans to convert the building in Aylsham Crescent, at the junction of Mile Cross Road and Aylsham Road in Norwich, were given the go-ahead by Norwich City Council’s planning committee.

The building was previously a branch of Nationwide Building Society, but has been shut for at least eight years and the owner is looking to market it for use as a café/takeaway.

So they sought permission from the council to change the use from financial services to a cafe/takeaway, with Norwich-based agents K Garnham saying that would expand the potential market for someone to let the property.

They said no specific tenant had yet been lined up, but getting permission would help to market the building.

But, with three takeaways in the parade of shops already, there were a number of objections from people living nearby. One wrote to City Hall to say: “There’s frequently discarded food wrappers and containers thrown into our garden, without an additional establishment to add to the problem.

“There’s little or no parking in the vicinity of the proposed development which will lead to parked cars, causing obstruction on Woodcock Road.”

However, Norfolk County Council officers said they had no objection on highways grounds and City Hall planning officers recommended that members of the planning committee give the go-ahead for the change of use.

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On Thursday, they did so, by nine votes to one. The councillor who voted against was Keith Driver, the chairman of the planning committee.

He said: “I am not very happy with another takeaway being put in this area. I believe there’s too many takeaways there in the first place.

“We could end up with cars and motorbikes up there all the time up to 10pm.”

Mr Driver said he hoped the building would end up being a cafe, rather than just a takeaway.

But fellow Labour councillor Jacob Huntley, who voted in favour of the change, said a takeaway had to better than the building continuing to stand empty.

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