Concern for ‘takeaway high street’ - vote in our poll
- Credit: Archant
A TOTAL of 14 takeaways could soon be based in Clevedon’s town centre if two new planning applications are given the green light.
In the area in and around Old Church Road, Old Street and The Triangle there are already 12 establishments operating as takeaways or restaurants offering takeaway food.
This high number has caused concern in the past about the effect it could have on the town centre’s viability and its attractiveness to shoppers.
Now, the submission of two more applications to North Somerset Council to change shops into takeaways has resurrected these fears.
One is for a vacant shop in Old Street previously home to a video games store called Insane but has remained empty for the past year.
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The other is for the former Threshers off licence at 32 Old Church Road, which has been empty since 2008, where the applicant wants to change its use and build a two-storey extension to enable three flats and one maisonette to be created on the site. In 2011, North Somerset Council refused a separate application to change the use of the unit to allow a Domino’s pizza takeaway to be set up there.
Clevedon Town Council’s planning committee has voted to recommend the Old Street application be refused on the grounds of a lack of parking in the area.
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Committee chairman Graham Hill said: “Our concern was that any further takeaway establishment in that area would cause absolute chaos in the road.
“My personal opinion, and that of a number of councillors, is that there are far too many takeaway establishments in the town.
“We will just be a coffee shop and takeaway high street and that is not going to sustain Clevedon for a long time.
“But unfortunately as a council we do not have the power to say no just on that basis.”
Jamie Veitch of the national charity Action for Market Towns said: “Towns across the country are seeing big changes to the make up of their high streets, and there’s often understandable opposition to further takeaways in a town - particularly when the proportion of takeaways out of all the high street units is very high.
“But landlords, of course, will want to let their property and high streets benefit by lower vacancy rates.
“With the Government pushing their plans to make retail change of use even easier, it’s well worth towns ensuring they have a town centre plan in place to ensure the community has a greater say in the future of their high streets.”