Plans by a national fastfood chain to open an outlet next to Tenby’s war memorial have outraged local councillors, who have given the applicants a ‘pizza’ their mind.
Members of Tenby Town Council delivered an angry response to a planning application that came before them at their meeting on Tuesday night from pizza chain Domino’s, to site an outlet on the South Parade, next to the town’s cenotaph, labelling the proposal as ‘disrespectful’ - with one councillor threatening to resign if the plans are passed, as she does not want the aftermath of the wrong decision to be left on the town council’s plate.
The application which has been submitted to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority is for a change of use from Class A1 (retail) to Class A3 (hot food takeaway) use, including ancillary seating, at the newly-built units along the South Parade.
To ‘top’ it all off, an application for a fascia sign and a projecting sign for the pizza premises has also been submitted.
Speaking on the application, Clr. Trevor Hallett said that it would be ‘totally disrespectful’ to the honour of those that have fallen in war to have a fastfood takeaway premises situated next to the cenotaph, especially with illuminated signage on display, with his colleague Clr. Mrs. Tish Rossiter agreeing.
“Think about the litter and the noise next to the peaceful war memorial garden, as well as the extra traffic problems caused along the South Parade. They really need to think about going somewhere else!” she remarked.
“The whole town is saturated with food outlets and cafés already, and the noise element for people living above this outlet and alongside it, will be horrendous,” commented Clr. Mrs. Christine Brown.
“Everybody I’ve spoken to in town who has stopped me in the street has suggested that if this application goes through, then the town council is not doing its job properly.
“I totally disagree with the application and feel really cross about it! I hope it never comes, but as I said to someone the other day, if it does get through, then I’d even threaten to resign, as I do not want it to be on our plate as a town council,” she added.
Councillors received seven letters of objection to the application before them at the meeting, amongst them two from the owners of other established locally run pizzeria restaurants.
“I believe that Tenby has a great commercial opportunity to present itself as a centre for healthy activity and sport - and takeaway ‘junk food’ operators such as Domino’s are the opposite to this image,” wrote Daniel Warder, of Top Joes.
Get Stuffed owner Kevin James wrote that he feared that Tenby was gradually being taken over by the national chains.
“We need to keep our identity as a seaside resort - all these companies take a slice of everybody’s cake, gradually making it uneconomic to trade,” he wrote.
Clr. Mrs. Caroline Thomas told her colleagues that part of their role as councillors was to listen to what the people of the town were saying, and that it was clear from these letters of objections the feeling amongst many residents and traders, and the correspondence needed to be passed on to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, she suggested.
Clr. Dr. Peter Easy said that many of the points raised in the letters objecting to the proposals, would be ignored by the planning authority, as they were not material planning considerations.
“Four out of the seven letters are from food outlets basically saying they don’t want the competition for their businesses - the National Parks won’t take any notice of that,” he said.
“The things that people are most angry about have nothing to do with planning, so in my opinion, any objections we make should be based solely on traffic matters,” he added.
The town clerk, Andrew Davies, pointed out that as the war memorial was classed as a listed building, the council could raise concerns about a fast food outlet having an impact on this landmark in the location the applicants are proposing.
The Mayor of Tenby, Clr. Laurence Blackhall, said that it was his view that the town council should object ‘very strongly’ to the application.
“It should be an incredibly firm no from us. The additional traffic generated, in relation to vehicles parking, delivery concerns, and the close proximity to the bus stop and crossing points on the one-way South Parade traffic system, is one reason to object, whilst another should be the late night noise and litter that would affect residents in that area,” he stated.
“Our policy on not allowing illuminated signage in the conservation area should also be pointed out, and as this site is in close proximity, the complete inappropriateness of any lit signage overlooking the war memorial should be taken into account.
“Anybody who has stood by the war memorial on various occasions of remembrance, will know that it is a very important part of Tenby, and I think this planning application would take a lot away from this area of the town,” added Clr. Blackhall, with councillors unanimously all in favour of objecting to the application.