Pizza giant appeals against council's decision to block plans for new branch

A PIZZA giant is appealing against a council’s decision to block its plans to open a branch in Queensbury.

Saturday, 8th May 2021, 1:00 pm

The application to open a new take away at Queensbury Court was refused by planners earlier this year, party because it went against Council policies set up to stop such businesses opening within 400 metres of a park, school or leisure facility.

Bradford Council had said the take away would be within 400m of Littlemoor Park and Queensbury Pool.

The company has appealed this decision, meaning a Government appointed planning inspector will have a final say over whether the business can open.

Papa John's pizza box (Getty Images)

After the appeal documents were published, Bradford Council has denied a claim made by Papa John’s in the appeal – that Queensbury Pool will never re-open, and so does not qualify as a leisure facility that could halt the take away plans.

The unit that Papa John’s had hoped to open in is an empty unit in the former Royal Eastern Restaurant. The building has been sub divided into a number of smaller shops, and Papa John’s had submitted an application to change the use of unit 2 from retail to take away.

In 2014 Bradford Council introduced a new policy on take aways in the District. It was partly in response to concerns that a large number of take away businesses were opening in certain areas.

It prevented any new take away from opening within 400m of a facility that would be used regularly by young people.

It would not apply to new take aways in “local centres” such as city or town centres.

Refusing this application, officers said the unit was just outside the centre of Queensbury.

They also raised concerns that there appeared to be just three parking spaces for the take away.

Referring to concerns over the proximity to the park, the appeal says: “The distance in a straight line to the entrance of this park is approximately 300 metres. However, it is not physically possible to gain direct access to the park form the unit, the quickest route by either foot or vehicle being via Brighouse Road in a southerly direction before turning onto Park Lane in a easterly/north easterly direction, this distance is approximately 430 metres.”

Referring to the proximity to Queensbury Pool, the appeal adds: “It has been confirmed via telephone with the city council that the pool has been permanently closed since 2019 and will not be re-opening.

“The nearest pool now been Sedbergh Sports and Leisure Centre approximately 5km in distance away to the east of Queensbury.”

In response to this comment Bradford Council pointed out that discussions are still ongoing to have the pool re-open under the control of a local community group.

A Council spokesperson said: “We are still in discussions with the trustees of Queensbury Community Programme regarding the future of the pool and how it may be possible to reopen in the future.”

Papa John’s appeal dismisses concerns about the take away causing traffic issues, pointing out that it is easily accessible by public transport.

It adds: “The proposal would aid vitality and viability by re-occupying a long term vacant unit, the site is highly sustainable, the proposal would not result in any highway detriment, and the proposal would aid economic development.”