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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Carlisle chippy boss to fight takeaway rejection

Chip shop boss Paul Fontana is continuing in his battle to open a controversial new takeaway.

Paul Fontana photo
Paul Fontana

The Carlisle businessman, who runs Fontana’s on Carlisle’s London Road, wants to open another branch on the other side of the city in Kingstown Road.

But three attempts to convert his preferred premises – a picture-framing store near Aldi – into a takeaway have failed due to strong opposition.

Mr Fontana’s fish and chip shop plans went in front of city councillors in August but were refused following a campaign by neighbouring residents.

However the businessman – who also received several letters of support from some residents on that side of the city – has now launched an appeal against the decision.

Similar plans to open a takeaway at the same site were refused in 2001 and again last November, largely due to the impact of extra traffic in an already busy part of the city.

But Mr Fontana, who is represented by Penrith Farmers’ & Kidd’s, argues that the situation has changed since the new northern bypass opened.

He says that traffic volumes on Kingstown Road have dropped following the launch of the Carlisle Northern Development Route in April, and that a good quality takeaway is needed in this part of town.

But neighbours disagree, saying the road remains busy and arguing that future developments – including plans for a 850-home estate in the area – will further add to the number of cars using it regularly.

They also claim the fish and chip shop would create parking problems, road safety issues and noise problems.

When the latest plans – which attracted nine letters and a 34-signature petition against, and 13 letters of support – went in front of Carlisle City Council’s planning panel in August, they were recommended for approval by officers.

But councillors sided with objectors, voting seven to three to refuse consent. Mr Fontana believes there was not sufficient grounds to do this.

He submitted the appeal to the Planning Inspectorate on October 26, arguing that the panel should have upheld the views of officers and granted planning permission.

Among the objectors who spoke at the city council planning meeting was Ken Jardine, who lives nearby. He said they will continue to campaign against the proposals.

“I am confident that I represent the opinions of virtually all the residents of Hobbart and Derwent Terraces on Kingstown Road, which I would define as the closest neighbouring properties to the proposed development,” he added.

“We believe this development contravenes the provisions designed to protect this residential area. The proposal will intensify the use of the site to a level that will severely undermine the amenity of the occupiers, many of which are elderly and vulnerable.

“There are several families with small children. The footpaths are narrow and the road width is the narrowest part of Kingstown Road.”

A national inspector will visit the site before considering all of the arguments. A decision is not expected until next year.

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