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Concerns over new takeaways

Worcester Editorial 2nd Jan, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

TWO TAKEAWAYS are set to be opened in St John’s despite fears the area could turn into a “disaster zone” because of increasing traffic congestion.

The former Natwest Bank will be transformed into a pizza takeaway, while another fast food outlet will take over 41 St John’s after Worcester City Council’s planning committee backed the two proposals.

But many councillors did raise concerns about the lack of on-street car parking and the potential impact on congestion in the area during the meeting earlier this month.

Coun Derek Prodger said: “There is already massive congestion at this location and if you add a takeaway you are looking at a disaster zone.

“There are 24 new homes on Swanpool Walk and congestion is horrendous. The retail outlets can’t survive much longer there.”

However, Bob Pender, from the Worcestershire County Council’s highways department, said two new takeaways did not warrant a “traffic remodelling exercise”, while he said shoppers can use the Sainsbury’s car park.

The application had been put before the committee after Coun Simon Cronin felt St John’s was becoming overrun with takeaways and his concerns were echoed by Coun Paul Denham at the meeting.

He told fellow councillors a survey revealed 15 of the 90 units were food and drink outlets, which he said was lower than the 20 per cent limit set out in a 2004 plan for the area.

“As I drive through St John’s quite regularly there seems to be an awful lot of takeaway units there,” Coun Denham said.

“If the figures are correct then presumably there is room under the current policy to have a maximum of four new takeaways before we exceed the limit.”

But Coun Andy Roberts added: “I have feeling that if we don’t have takeaways then we are going to have empty shops, so surely this is better than that.”

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