Councillors said Lincoln High Street is “overloaded” with takeaways during a planning committee this week.
Members of the City of Lincoln Council committee gave the go-ahead to Yusuf Ibrayam’s retrospective application to change 137 High Street into a takeaway, but some made it clear they were only doing so because he was moving from his Mr Chippy business down the road.
The plans had received a number of objections, many from owners of nearby premises. Reasons given included “over concentration” of takeaway uses, an increase in antisocial behaviour, smells and waste storage problems. A petition was also received.
Councillors, however, were told the use was “acceptable in this location and would not result in the area losing its mixed use character, nor would it detract from the vitality or viability of the primary shopping area.”
Councillor Gary Hewson suggested the area was moving away from “mixed use”, particularly from The Ritz travelling towards the South Park roundabout.
“If we talking about mixed use we cannot talk about that area because it’s dominated by takeaways and barber shops,” he said.
“There’s no end of [them].
“I have got some sympathy for people living in that area – there’s a number to me that’s going to break the camel’s back and I defy anyone to say there’s a need for another takeaway.”
“I’m not happy with that area being dominated by that sort of retail overload.”
He was backed by Councillor Biff Bean who said: “I have always been quite critical of the overpopulation of takeaways in the city.”
Councillor Rebecca Longbottom said it was something the council needed to discuss more generally.
“There are other things we need to talk about before we throw more buildings into takeaways – including public health.”
She agreed it was going “beyond mixed use”.
Councillor Chris Burke, however, said he saw no reason to reject it.
“The reality is, if it can’t survive it won’t survive. If the public didn’t want those shops down there they would close.”
However, he acknowledged there could be a “few more shops down there to create more diversity” and said there were some shining through, including Speedframe.
Councillor Eddie Strengiel also agreed, but added: “The problem is we’re too far down the road. We’re now not going to get businesses that want to go between them.”
Councillor Patrick Vaughan said he had joined others in fighting against an overload of takeaways since the 90s.
“Now it’s started we can’t help it. We should have stopped it years ago.”
Councillors approved the application before them, with a condition that an installed flue be painted black.