Sunderland takeaway refused planning permission over obesity and traffic fears

Plans for a new hot food takeaway on Wearside have been thrown out by councillors over traffic and obesity fears.

Tuesday, 24th November 2020, 6:02 pm

In September 2020, plans were lodged to change the use of 6 Mayfair House in Eden Terrace.

The unit fronts onto Durham Road and was last occupied by a health and beauty salon.

According to planning documents, the ground floor of the property has been vacant for several months with the new venture aiming to create six jobs.

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The former salon, where plans for a takeaway have been refused

Proposed opening hours also included 11am-11.30pm – but applicants said this could be changed to make the development acceptable.

During public consultation on the plans, 18 objections and a 16-signature petition were received – alongside opposition from Millfield ward councillors Julia Potts and Andrew Wood.

Concerns ranged from noise disturbance, parking issues and litter to health and obesity levels and the number of takeaways in the area.

The application was discussed at a Planning and Highways (East) Committee on November 20, which was held via videolink and broadcast on YouTube.

Sunderland City Council’s planning department recommended the plans for refusal, citing a council policy which aims to restrict new hot food takeaways in wards where there is a high prevalence of childhood obesity and where sites are close to schools.

As the application failed these tests, a planning report said the hot food takeaway “would not be permitted.”

Other concerns included noise issues and increased parking outside the site potentially creating a “hazard to motorists.”

At the meeting, councillors heard that the business would be willing to operate in a ‘delivery only’ capacity and would “take full advantage” of the existing cycle route outside the property.

An applicant statement, read to the committee, added that noise and odours from a specialist extraction system would be kept to a minimum and that Eden Terrace should be classed as ‘mixed use’ rather than “residential’ due to a number of businesses already operating on the street.

Following discussion, councillors agreed to reject the application.

Councillor Niall Hodson, who called the application into the committee for decision, said: “In Millfield ward you get quite a lot of these sort of ‘change of uses’ with it having the city centre in.

“But it’s rare to get this level of resident reaction. We have seen over the past few years that hot food takeaways and fast food applications, the residents’ attitude to them seems to be changing quite a bit.

“And listening to some of the comments from residents that have been submitted with this [application], it’s clear that there’s resistance to having this sort of thing in the area for a number of reasons.”

A planning report prepared for councillors added: “It is considered that the proposal would generate increased vehicular movements around the site without the provision of adequate parking facilities, leading to opportunist short-term parking to the front of the unit to the detriment of highway and pedestrian safety.”

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