Budleigh fish and chip shop proposal opposed
PUBLISHED: 13:03 16 May 2016 | UPDATED: 15:46 16 May 2016
An iconic building in Budleigh Salterton town centre could be transformed into a combined fish and chip takeaway and coffee shop.
Plans to change the use of the old NatWest building, on the corner of High Street and Station Road, were this week opposed by the town council.
The change of use application proposes to split the former bank into a takeaway restaurant on the Station Road side – and a coffee shop, which will open into High Street.
At a meeting on Monday, former mayor Councillor Courtney Richards expressed concern about the need for more food outlets in the town.
He said: “I consider there’s already a sufficient supply of similar establishments in the town centre and, due to the seasonal nature of Budleigh’s economy and its reliance on tourism, the proposal could result in an over-supply of food establishments.
“Especially during the low season, it could cause a negative impact on businesses in the town centre.
“There’s only room for so many food shops in a small town.”
However, Cllr Megan Kenneally-Stone felt there was a need for different restaurants in the town.
She said: “We need some diversity in restaurants.
“There aren’t enough restaurants that operate at different times of the evening and to different budgets.
“It is a positive thing for the council to support – to have different businesses in the High Street instead of a little bit of what we’ve got at the moment.”
The old NatWest building has been empty since February last year when the bank closed its doors for the final time.
The application includes the installation of four internally-lit signs and a ventilation flue, which would exit from an existing chimney.
A door on the Station Road side, which was bricked-up by NatWest in the 1970s, will be put back in for the fish and chip restaurant and takeaway.
The town council voted unanimously to oppose the application, stating the proposed illuminated signs would have a negative visual impact.
Members also had concerns about the increased traffic and the effect the proposal would have on the conservation area, as well as the smell which could be coming from the flue.
East Devon District Council will decide the fate of the application.