A Domino’s Pizza takeaway is set to open in Market Deeping despite hundreds of objections.
The controversial planning application to convert the Grade II listed former HSBC bank in the centre of the Market Place, into a Domino’s pizza outlet, was approved at a planning meeting of South Kesteven District Council on Tuesday.
Online and paper petitions gathered a total of 901 signatures against the plans but after a lengthy debate, the change of use was approved by a majority vote.
A separate application for listed building consent will be delegated to planning officers in consultation with the conservation officer but the committee requested any applications relating to signage go back to them.
In an impassioned plea to her fellow committee members, Coun Judy Stevens of the Deeping St James ward, said: “It behoves South Kesteven District Council to enhance our conservation area, not stick something right in the prime part of it that will actually detract from that.”
Coun Stevens further highlighted that the three storey Georgian building, situated in the Market Deeping conservation area, adjoins the Grade I listed pub The Bull, which dates back to 1139.
“It’s absolutely in the middle of the town. No wonder there are people here from Deeping today, and no wonder I’m up in arms,” she said.
Market and West Deeping councillor Ashley Baxter gave a presentation to the committee highlighting concerns, and drawing their attention to the look of Domino’s in other towns. “It is the duty of local authorities to enhance the local areas. This is the jewel in the crown of South Kesteven, Market Deeping Market Place, and we want to conserve that at all costs.”
Resident of 55 years, Richard Hughes, talked of the impact on locally-owned businesses. Explaining his decision to start a petition, he said: “When I saw this notice on February 9 outside the HSBC, saying another hot food outlet. I just blew up. I thought, another one?”
Chairman of Deepings heritage, David Shelton, explained the building was built in 1720, and argued an occupier that made full use of all three floors would be more appropriate.
Market Deeping town councillor Pauline Redshaw, outlined worries including noise, smells, parking, effect on existing businesses and the provision of just one commercial bin to the back of the building.
Agent for the applicants, Ben Cook, responded that it was a bin for commercial use “of significant capacity”.
An additional condition that this bin be secured in a timber enclosure was added by the committee, along with measures to restrict delivery times, prevent Domino’s signage or items being visible in the upper windows, and treatment to the frontage to replace holes created by the removal of the former cash machine and overnight deposit box.
With these amendments the change of use application was approved by 11 members, with two abstentions and three against. An earlier recorded vote to refuse, citing the cumulative impact on parking, rubbish, and that the development was out of character, was lost.
After the meeting Coun Baxter said he was disappointed in the decision.
He said: “The decision will result in a triple-whammy of increased traffic congestion, reduced trade for existing locally-owned businesses and a carbuncle in the heart of our conservation area.”