Villagers have lost a bid to block a Domino’s Pizza shop opening despite claims it would attract the “wrong clientele”.
Dozens of objections were lodged against a bid by the pizza giant to transform a former tanning salon in Hesketh Bank into its latest unit. Among those requesting the application to covert the unit be rejected, several spoke of fears it would negatively affect the West Lancashire village’s existing pizza takeaway.
Some also raised concerns it would hurt the image of Hesketh Bank or negatively affect house prices. One objector, Natalie Bretherton, wrote: “It is a small community and it should be kept with family run small businesses to make sure the money spent in the community stays with in the community.
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“Large franchises will bring the wrong clientele and take away the “family” feeling you get with all the businesses within the area.” Others argued there were more suitable locations in nearby places such as Tarleton.
However, a planning officer’s report on the matter explained that these were not grounds which would merit a refusal, noting “it is not the purpose of the planning system to regulate competition or promote independent/local operators over international competitors/franchises”. The report concluded that the application should be approved and planning permission has now been granted.
It says the building had been marketed since November 2022 but so far has failed to attract sufficient use to continue its previous use. According to the application, the store will open seven days a week from 11am-11pm and employ 10 full time staff members as well as 15 part time employees.
To enable the new use, Domino’s will install a new shopfront and cladding over the building, with a separate application to follow for the various signage. There will be seven parking spaces which it argues will be sufficient for the nature of the business.
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