Objections to be raised tonight against plans to open national pizza takeaway in cultural part of Northampton

Many businesses and councillors have raised concerns about the plans

By Logan MacLeod
Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 4:54 pm

Concerns are going to be raised tonight (Tuesday, January 11) about controversial plans to install a new takeaway pizza shop within the Cultural Quarter of Northampton.

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) will decide at a planning committee meeting whether to approve or reject plans to convert the former Coleman's stationery shop in St Giles' Street into a Fireaway pizza joint.

Fireaway is a takeaway company with chains across the UK specialising in 'pizza and dirty fries'.

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Coleman's vacated the building in March this year after deciding not to renew the lease

There have been objections from 10 addresses in the area.

The complaints mention an increase in traffic, impact on cultural quarter, impact on independent businesses, increase in litter, noise pollution, too many food outlets in area, impact on residents, impact of odours, hours of use and detrimental to St Giles' Street, out of keeping with area.

West Northamptonshire Council's (WNC) deputy leader Adam Brown is leading the opposition against the plans.

Mr Brown said: "A new takeaway in a prominent location on St Giles' Street would affect the overall feel of a key piece of Northampton’s retail estate.

"It is very much not in keeping with the theme of the rest of the street which is dine-in restaurant and boutique-led rather than late night fast food.

"[I am] concerned about proliferation of junk food establishments and consequences for public health."

Councillor Danielle Stone, of the Castle ward, agrees with Councillor Brown and has raised her own concerns.

She said: "[It is] not in keeping with the general character of the street with its small niche retailers. Not the place to encourage night time economy, the area is being developed as a residential area to complement the small boutique businesses.

"[The] proposal will be detrimental to residents. Proposal for residential dwellings above fast food with odour nuisance and noise nuisance does not accord with desire for balanced communities and for high quality residencies in town centre. [There] will be issues with waste storage."

Other businesses in the area have previously raised their concerns.

Liz Cox, owner of The Eccentric Englishman, between Optimist and Wig & Pen, said: "I would rather not have a takeaway there. There're takeaways all over the town.

"It's not what we're aiming for as a street. We are trying to be the cultural side of town.

"We're all independents down here. It would be nice if it was an independent shop to build the culture of the street."

Matthew Lewis, Vintage Guru owner in St Giles Street, added: "I think we already have parts of the town that are great for these types of businesses.

"Wellingborough Road is a really successful location for takeaway and fast food but St Giles Street is a shopping street that people come for a browse and it's main attraction is shops.

"I think it would be more in keeping with the rest of the street if it was retail. But we wish them all the success in this new venture."

Coleman's announced they were closing their doors in January last year after 44 years of trading in St Giles' Street. The firm vacated the building in March last year.