Gt Cornard: Chip shop proposal is refused

AN application to build a fish and chip shop close to a busy roundabout and an upper school has been thrown out by Babergh councillors.

The district authority’s planning committee refused a request by businessman Michael Ladak to turn premises in Bures Road, Great Cornard, that are currently used as a motor spares shop into a hot food takeaway.

Councillors decided unanimously that there was insufficient parking on the site and the extra traffic pulling up at the shop could pose a hazard. They also believed building a fish and chip shop close to a school could encourage youngsters to eat fast food instead of healthy options, and that the amenity of nearby residents exposed to the constant smell of frying would be ruined.

Mr Ladak did not speak at the meeting last week. But Cornard resident Julia Shields, who has fought the proposal since it was first suggested in April, told the committee that due to its close proximity to Thomas Gainsborough School, the council should turn down the change of use proposal and introduce a policy that enabled it to refuse applications on health and well-being grounds. She added: “The chip shop would have a detrimental impact on the health of kids at the school because it would be selling food made with saturated fat. Planning and public health departments should be working together on things like this.”

But planning officer Gareth Durrant said while the issues of children’s health was discussed in the council’s report, Babergh did not have a planning policy that would allow the application to be turned down on the grounds that it could encourage children to eat unhealthy food.

Councillor Clive Arthy agreed, adding: “We can’t introduce reasons for refusal that are not defendable but parking and highway safety are the overriding concerns here and should be the main reasons for turning this down.”

His colleague, Great Cornard north ward councillor Tony Bavington described the parking provision for the scheme as “wholly inadequate” adding: “You can’t access two of the spaces without going through the other two and given that it’s a fast food takeaway, people would want to get on and off the premises quickly. Any movements on and off the highway at that point would also be dangerous traffic wise.”

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Committee chairman and Cornard South councillor, Peter Beer, said the development should be rejected because of the effect it would have on residents of two period houses facing the site. He said: “The flue would cause smells that would affect residents – especially those who will be living in the flat above the shop and those in the listed buildings opposite.”