No ‘plaice’ for a new chippy

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PLANNING officers have ruled that a housing estate is no “plaice” for a new fish and chip shop – despite hundreds of supporters signing a petition.

Susan Sull hoped to open the new business in Airedale Gardens, Hetton, near her existing convenience store.

She argued that dwindling sales, increased competition from supermarkets and higher taxes and overheads had forced her to diversify.

“We are only trying to maintain sales by creating something different to keep current customers loyal,” said Ms Sull in a statement to the council officials.

In a bid to gauge public opinion, she drew up a petition, which was signed by 312 supporters.

She also gave reassurances over feared litter and noise problems.

Just four official objections were submitted to Sunderland Council concerning the proposals.

“By the interest shown in the petition, you can see that there are a lot of customers interested in the chip shop,” said Ms Sull. “We would not be looking to attract new customers, just give the current customers what they want.

“The main advantages of the chip shop is that it will create a buzz in the community where there are not many shops, giving them something different and a food outlet closer.”

However, officials at Sunderland City Council maintained the proposals went against planning regulations.

They said that hot food and takeaway outlets would not normally be allowed outside a shopping district, close to a residential area.

In a delegated decision, they stated that the developer could not demonstrate that there would be “no detriment to the environment, residential amenity or highway safety”.

The plans involved a change of use, transforming a storage area into a shop, including the installation of a store front, extraction flue and pitched roof.

In a report, case officer Sharon Graham said: “The application site does not sit within a shopping parade, rather there is a single shop unit within an otherwise residential area.

“There are flats above the premises and there are a number of properties within 50m of the application site.

“The proposal is considered likely to result in conditions that will be detrimental to the residential amenities of the occupiers of nearby properties through noise and disturbance.”

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