THE decision to approve a new takeaway in a regeneration area has been labelled a “backward step”, writes Neil Bracegirdle.
Members of Babergh District Council’s development committee voted through plans to change a retail shop in Applegate Mews, Great Cornard, into a fast-food outlet on Wednesday.
Committee chairman Peter Beer said he was disappointed the application – submitted by R L Turner – had been granted.
“Members really tried to stop it happening but there was nothing in planning law which allowed for it to be refused,” said Mr Beer, who is also a member of the North Cornard Regeneration Group – an organisation instrumental in securing a £6million investment in the Applegate Mews site in Poplar Road.
“The whole point of this project was to upgrade the estate and revamp the shops, but this is a backwards step.
“Babergh has spent a lot of money for residents here and I was very unhappy the takeaway was approved.”
Work on the development is still ongoing, although six shops and 21 flats have already been built.
Along with the new takeaway, there is also a Chinese restaurant and chip shop in the area and Mr Beer said there now seemed to be an “onslaught” of fast-food premises in the village.
Great Cornard Parish Council had stated a belief that the retail unit should remain as a shop prior to the meeting and Pot Kiln Primary School put forward concerns about the potential health implications for children.
Julia Shields, who is currently fighting proposals for a new fish and chip shop in Bures Road due to its close proximity to Great Cornard Upper School, said it was time the council introduced a policy to refuse applications on health and well-being grounds.
“The amount of child obesity is escalating and the council needs to look at the long-term risks,” said Mrs Shields, of Bures Road.
“I have requested the council look into this and I know many people are uncomfortable about the number of takeaways in Great Cornard.”
The takeaway has permission to open from 11am to 11pm between Monday and Saturday and 4pm to 10pm on Sundays.