Cheltenham planners refuse bid for new Benhall takeaway
FEARS Benhall could have too many takeaways have been allayed after planning chiefs threw out proposals for another food centre.
Nearly 300 objectors fought plans to create a new fastfood outlet in Benhall Avenue. It would have been the third takeaway in a row of seven shops.
After Cheltenham Borough Council decided not to allow the move following concerns it would increase noise and litter, the applicant took it to appeal.
Now the planning inspectorate has made a final ruling – that the takeaway will not be allowed to open.
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The stretch is already home to a fish and chip shop and a Chinese takeaway.
Councillor Jacky Fletcher (Benhall, Cons) said: "I am absolutely over the moon. Everyone was upset by this idea and it has taken so long to get it thrown out. It is really good news for the area."
Planning inspector Penelope Metcalfe dismissed Marlene Jenkins' appeal.
She concluded the proposed takeaway would increase the percentage of non-retail units in the parade, considering the nearby pub, to over half.
She said: "I am not convinced that the potential for continued retail use has been satisfactorily explored or that the marketing period has been long enough.
"I acknowledge that empty units have a negative impact on centres such as this.
"However, as there is little apparent local support for a takeaway, I consider that the proposal would harm the retail character of the parade, as it would not add to the range of goods available in the centre, to the disadvantage of the community."
Residents have campaigned for a new pharmacy to take over the empty unit as many of Benhall's elderly population are having to cross the A40 to get to the nearest one in St Mark's.
But health bosses refused an application, which had the backing of 850 residents, and said the area could not sustain it.
Last month the pharmacist behind the scheme, Peter Badham, launched an appeal.