Councillors have rejected plans for a shop unit in Lichfield to be turned into an Indian takeaway.

The shop unit at Swallow Croft

The proposals would have seen the unit at Swallow Croft – which is currently occupied by a cake business – converted.

But members of Lichfield District Council’s planning committee voted tp refuse permission.

Concerns had been raised during the meeting over issues with parking and an extraction flue which would have been added to the building had the scheme been given the go-ahead.

One resident objecting to the scheme told the committee:

“As a resident I am very aware of the considerable disruption and unpleasantness already being experienced here including anti-social behaviour, noise pollution, parking obstructions, odour and rubbish.

“For residents living nearby it is very rare to be able to enter, leave or park at our homes in a safe manner or without being verbally threatened or abused every weekend.”

Resident objecting to the proposal

Cllr Joanne Grange, one of the ward councillors for the area, also spoke on behalf of residents.

Joanne Grange

She highlighted how some of the issues which saw a previous plan for a restaurant rather than a takeaway in the unit where still relevant.

“Applications must be considered on their own merit, but in the research you’ll have noted the similarities between the refused application and this new one – including many of the documents being identical.

“The reasons for the last refusal remain valid.

“Arguably a takeaway would have more impact on residents amenity and highway safety that an 18 cover restaurant.

“There are already two takeaways and a late night store – a third takeaway will greatly exacerbate existing problems on a narrow road in a 20mph residential zone.”

Cllr Joanne Grange, Lichfield District Council

A council report had recommended approval for the plan, but Cllr Grange said there were issues with the information being assessed.

“The first highways response to this application states that trading by other businesses in the parade decreases in the evening resulting in less traffic – this is not true.

“The design and access statement states that as opening hours won’t significantly overlap other shops there should be limited additional load on existing parking facilities. This is also not true.

“A takeaway will create more traffic and more trips than the restaurant highways objected to last time.”

Cllr Joanne Grange, Lichfield District Council

“Parking is best described as chaotic”

Members of the committee added that they too had concerns over the latest proposals.

Cllr David Leytham

Cllr David Leytham said:

“I know the area very well and parking is best described as chaotic in the evenings – it’s just not safe there.

“Why is it a 20mph limit? It’s because it’s generally accepted to be a risky place to drive at any greater speed. Why? Because there are great numbers of pedestrians around.

“With the amount of indiscriminate parking there, this will add to the problem.

“I’m not saying we can’t have another takeaway, because planning laws don’t allow that – but what I am saying is that the highways authority have not been there when it is chaotic and been there to see it when parking behaviour is at its worst.”

Cllr David Leytham, Lichfield District Council

Cllr Jamie Checkland branded the proposal “ridiculous” given the existing issues in the area.

“It’s a fairly chaotic corner at the best of the times, even before the takeaways open.

“If you add to the fact residents are coming back in th evening so there are more cars parked in the street when people are home.

“To increase the traffic by another third just seems ridiculous to me.”

Cllr Jamie Checkland, Lichfield District Council

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