Shop owners and councillors 'relieved' after plans to open pizza and dirty fries eatery in Northampton town centre REFUSED

The fast-food outlet was looking to stay open from 7am to 3am every day of the week in the Cultural Quarter of Northampton

Friday, 14th January 2022, 4:40 pm

Shop owners and senior councillors have reacted to the news that a national pizza chain has been refused planning permissionn for a Northampton branch.

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) refused planning permission for Fireaway Pizza to open a new takeaway - with opening hours from 7am to 3am every day of the week - at the former Coleman's stationery shop in St Giles' Street.

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

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The former Coleman's stationery shop will not be converted into an open-all-hours pizza takeaway

The main objections raised were to do with 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.

Julie Teckman, owner at Vintage Guru in St Giles' Street said: "I did think they were going to approve it.

"I do feel like I have been listened to. It's a relief.

"St Giles' Street is a shopping street so to increase the amount of traffic, noise and cooking smell pollution - is that in the street's best interest?"

Yvonne Spence, owner at Voni Blu in Castilian Street said: "It's really good news. We're really pleased. I thought it was invaluable me and Julie spoke at the meeting. I am really happy. It's a fantastic street.

"Once you give the locality something like that [Fireaway], it never goes back.

"There does not seem to be a policy to maintain the shopping street. I would like to see a strategy to get independent shops back into the street and I think the council wants that too. We need to start working towards that."

Councillor Adam Brown, who is the deputy leader of WNC, said it is important to have the 'right things in the right places'.

He said: "I get the point that it's an empty unit but the council has a responsibility to keep St Giles' Street as a nicer looking part of town that lends itself more to retailers and that cafe culture.

"St Giles' Street has always been a better part of the town centre, we need that feel to go across the rest of the town.

"We need to have the right things in the right places. If you lose the sense of St Giles' Street then it's very difficult to wrestle that back."

Councillor Danielle Stone was cautious in her reaction as she believes the plans could still go through if Fireaway appeal the decision.

She said: "We have an issue. A lot of things turned down at committee end up being appealed by developers.

"The appeal is then reviewed by an independent inspector who just looks at the broad planning regulations.

"I think the arguments we have are strong but it depends on the inspector's view, they don't always agree with us.

"I think generating more traffic around that corner - Castillian Street and St Giles' Street - is an issue."