New town centre takeaway gets go-ahead from planners

Ponden Home, Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, to become Pape John's

The old Ponden Home store will become a Papa Johns - Credit: Richard Cornwell

Permission has been granted to turn an empty town centre shop in Felixstowe into a new hot food takeaway, despite concerns about an "over-saturation" of food outlets.

American pizza chain Papa John's (GB) Ltd will open its new outlet in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe.

At present, Hamilton Road has more than 25 premises – about one in six – that are cafés, restaurants or offer takeaway food. There are a further 10 in adjoining streets.

The premises were previously occupied by home store Ponden Home Interiors, which decided to close after the winter lockdown ended last year.

The store had been in operation for many years, selling curtains and bedding and other home fittings.

Papa John's was given the go-ahead by East Suffolk Council to change the use of the premises to a food takeaway and plans to update the exterior with a new shopfront.

It will create 20 new jobs.

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Council planners said: "While an over-saturation of hot food takeaways could present the potential for harm to the overall function of a primary shopping area, the case officer considers it unlikely that the presence of the Papa John's pizza chain within the proposed location would result in any detriment to the town centre's long-term vitality."

The scheme would result in the removal of a "dead frontage" while presenting the potential to encourage social interaction.

The premises will be allowed to open from 10am to 11pm for hot food takeaway and pizza delivery use Monday to Friday, 10am to midnight on Saturdays and 10am to 11pm on Sundays and bank holidays.

Felixstowe Town Council also recommended approval.