Councillors refuse application by Domino’s Pizza to open takeaway in Saffron Walden
11:41 19 September 2014
Takeaway chain Domino’s Pizza has had its bid to open a restaurant in Saffron Walden rejected.
The planning committee of Uttlesford District Council (UDC) refused the company’s application to open an outlet at a vacant retail lot on Hill Street.
During the hearing on Wednesday (September 17), several members of the committee argued fervently against the placing of the takeaway at the former location of Evergreen Florists, with some calling the proposal “unpleasant” and a “highway obstruction” that could “result in the death of somebody”.
Councillor Doug Perry argued that the possibility of customers parking along the narrow Hill Street to collect their pizzas would be a “dangerous traffic violation” which may impair the response time of the adjacent Saffron Walden fire station.
Cllr Keith Eden also opposed the plans, calling it “unrealistic” to expect customers to walk from the Common car park, which he said would have to be the case while Waitrose’s car park is closed for six months because of the limited parking on Market Walk.
After eight councillors spoke at great length about their opposition to the plan, Cllr Vic Ranger, who was in favour of it, said: “We’ve spent twice as long over one food outlet delivery service than we spent on [a planning application in Stebbing for] over 30 houses, and that’s a shame.”
Cllr Eric Hicks was also ‘for’ the Domino’s application. He said: “I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect fast food outlets in the town centre.
I can’t see anything intrinsically wrong with this application.”
Chairman of the committee, Cllr Jackie Cheetham, put the proposal to a vote, which was refused by a margin of eight to three. Two councillors abstained from voting.
The refusal of the Domino’s planning application in Saffron Walden comes shortly after the contentious opening of a franchise in Great Dunmow on September 1.
The application was initially refused by UDC in August 2013 on similar grounds, namely parking obstruction on a residential road.
Domino’s subsequently won an appeal in February.
The takeaway giant has not yet revealed whether it intends to appeal the Saffron Walden refusal.