Hot food takeaway rejected due to overconcentration

A proposal to replace a vacant shop with a hot food takeaway in a small parade of shops in a West Midlands city was rejected by an inspector on the basis that it would result in an overconcentration of such uses and could harm living conditions in the flat above.

Council policy for assessing takeaways in shopping centres sought to avoid significant harm to the amenity of nearby residents and harmful cumulative impacts, and was reinforced by an up-to-date supplementary planning document (SPD) on the topic. The SPD identified that, where a site falls within an area where the number of takeaways per 1000 population exceeds the average for England, the area is considered to be overconcentrated. The council’s evidence showed that the appeal site lay in such an area of overconcentration, and the proposal would also result in a consecutive run of takeaways in the shopping parade. In such circumstances, the SPD identified a likely increase in customers leading to issues such as noise and disturbance, odour and littering. The appellant argued that the wider area fell significantly below the SPD threshold of overconcentration but provided no evidence to convince the inspector to depart from the approach taken in SPD.

On the issue of impact on living conditions, the inspector was not satisfied that the level of sound detail supplied by the appellant was sufficient to show that an external flue would not  cause noise disturbance to occupiers of the first floor flat. Taking a precautionary approach, she concluded the matter could not be dealt with by condition and further specific details would need to be provided to demonstrate that a suitable method of odour and noise extraction could be achieved prior to permission being granted.

Inspector: Rebecca Norman; Written representations

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