A planning application to open a fish and chip shop on Wellfield Road has run into problems, as existing traders on the road, and local residents, have objected in large numbers.
First considered at Cardiff Council’s Planning Committee Meeting in December, when members of the Wellfield Traders’ Association and a number of concerned local people attended, as well as Plasnewydd Councillor Sue Lent, the Committee decided to hold a site visit this week to view the proposed unit and take into account the location, and the number of existing food outlets on Wellfield Road.
A petition signed by in excess of 300 people objecting to the application was submitted to the Committee, as well as many individual written submissions of objection.
Plasnewydd Councillors Mohammad Javed, Mary McGarry and Sue Lent were in attendance at the site visit, as well as more than 30 individual objectors, and the Committee will meet again to make the final decision on Wednesday 12th February.
The main issues are that there is already a high proportion of food and drink outlets on Wellfield Road (12 at the last count) and that a fish and chip shop, by its nature, would encourage people to come to the area late at night, travel further up the road than where current late night cafés and pubs are located, eat outside, leave rubbish and food waste (attracting seagulls) and disturb the residents living on the street above the shops.
Traders are also concerned about fair competition, given the number of existing food outlets on the short street, and about it changing the atmosphere and function of the road, making it more like Albany and City Roads, which have a proliferation of late night food outlets. The proposed fish and chip shop has applied to be open until 11.30 pm, and would mainly serve takeaway food, although some seating inside would be provided.
The Council Planning Committee has to look into the balance of food outlets compared to retail, known as A3 (restaurants and cafes) and A1 (retail), and whether to change the use of the current site from A1 to A3.
Jay from 7 Clothing, one of the established traders objecting to the planning application, told us:
“There was a limit on Wellfield Road for A3 licences of 20%. Currently we are on 29% and this does not include the likes of Greggs, Parsons Bakery, and Subway, as they come under A1 planning for reasons the council could not explain to us.
We don’t want Wellfield Road turning into another City Road. If this application is granted it will set a precedent for anyone to get an A3 licence.”
Plasnewydd’s Councillors Dan De’Ath, Sue Lent and Mary McGarry have objected to the application as follows:
7.3 Cllr De’Ath objects to the proposal on the following grounds:
i. Harm to unique style and character of Wellfield Rd, concern over the number of fast food and takeaway outlets in Plasnewydd and that the business would be more suited to the Albany Road / City Road area
ii. Increase in litter and detrimental impact on the environment
iii. Attraction of youths, nuisance and anti-social behaviour
iv. Smells with consequent harm to stock of adjacent occupier (7 Clothing) and harm to business
v. Notice that a petition has been organised and that a significant number of other businesses have expressed concerns
7.4 Cllr Lent objects to the proposal on the following grounds:
i. The area is at saturation point
ii. A fish and chip shop is totally out of character with Wellfield Road
iii. Increase in litter and refuse disposal problems
iv. Harm to residential amenity from cooking smells
7.5 Cllr McGarry objects to the proposal on the following grounds:
i. Harm to the unique style and character of the area
ii. Exacerbation of litter problem
iii. Attraction and congregation of groups of youths, and anti-social behaviour
iv. Harmful impact on adjacent businesses from cooking smells and people blocking the entrances to their premises
v. Notwithstanding concerns about empty shops, the proposal may set an unwanted precedent
(Source: Cardiff Council Planning Report 12.02.14 (pdf) pp25-42))
WalesOnline reported the original story in November 2013, but no resolution has yet been found.
This article was amended on 10 February 2014 Cllr Mohammad Javed attended the site visit, not Cllr Dan De’Ath.