Friday, June 29, 2018

News: Plans passed for new fish & chip restaurant in former fire station

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From fighting fires to filling fryers, from fireman's pole to lemon sole. Maltby's former fire station is set be converted into a fish & chip restaurant and takeaway after plans were approved by the planning board at Rotherham Council, despite a number of objections.

Rothbiz reported in April that proposals had been put forward to turn the 3,500 sq ft purpose built fire station on the High Street into a chip shop with the main area, which would have housed the fire engines, used as a restaurant with the roller shutter doors replaced by new windows.

Moving to a new joint operation at Maltby in 2017, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue closed its High Street site and put it up for sale at £250,000 through agents, Fernie Greaves.

The change of use plans, which would create 20 jobs, were discussed at a meeting of the planning board last week. A number of objections had been received, mainly based on the fact that the High Street already has a number of takeaways but also on noise and transport.

Only 51% of premises on the main frontage in Maltby are A1 retail uses, below the 65% target in the Council's policy. The application site is considered an edge of centre location and other potential sites around Maltby have been discounted as being too small.

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The site is allocated for community use but applicant, John Radford, explained to the board: "The application is for a quality restaurant with ancillary takeaway with off street parking - the takeaway is part of the restaurant and would close at 10pm and would not sell alcohol or offer a delivery service.

"The restaurant and takeaway will be both owned and run by a local man with many year's experience in the proposed use."

Radford confirmed that the accepted sealed bid for the property was £295,000, making potential community use unviable. He added that additional costs for demolition and leveling the site means that housing on the site would also be unviable.

Cllr. John Kirk raised Maltby Town Council's concerns at the meeting. He said: "We need new restaurants and new facilities in Maltby but we do object very strongly to another takeaway. The joke is that we've got more takeaways than doctors in Maltby."

A policy which stated that hot food takeaways will not be permitted where they are within 800 metres of a primary school, secondary school or college, was thrown out by the Government's planning inspector last year.

Cllr. John Williams, member of the planning board, lamented the loss of community buildings but supported the plans, stating: "This is a prominent, key building on the local High Street and I think what we've got in this application is a proposal to bring it back into use, based on a business model that we know that works."

Members of the planning board voted unanimously to approve the application.

Images: Google Maps

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