Takeaway no' is not snobbish

PUBLISHED: 12:22 16 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:14 06 May 2010

SIR – I would like to take issue with Mr Charles comments last week ( Row over takeaway application ) about the planning application for a fast-food takeaway in Ickleford. The parish council decided to oppose this not for reasons of snobbery (we would

SIR - I would like to take issue with Mr Charles' comments last week ('Row over takeaway application') about the planning application for a fast-food takeaway in Ickleford.

The parish council decided to oppose this not for reasons of 'snobbery' (we would equally have opposed a request for a sushi bar), but as a reflection of the concerns of those residents who would be affected by this fish and chip shop. We feel that its location as the sole non-residence in the centre of a densely-populated housing area would have a negative environmental impact on the quality of life for those residents.

There are likely to be substantial problems with parking and traffic in already congested streets. One of the two routes to the proposed site is via a road which has no footpath; this route is used by children walking to and from school. Any increase in road traffic in this area at school closing time raises the chance of accident and injury.

There is also the probability that the area will suffer significant litter, noise and other pollution. We feel that these reasons make this a totally inappropriate area to site such a business - a fact borne out by the petition raised by local residents.

Mr Charles is also wrong when he calls Ickleford a 'stagnant village'. He may be unaware that we have just won the best community project award (for the church fundraising activities and our parish plan) as well as the overall village of the year award for Hertfordshire - hardly signs of stagnation. The aim of the parish plan is to identify the needs and concerns of the village and then put forward ways of addressing them. Of the 700 replies (an 86% response rate) we received to our comprehensive village questionnaire, only a handful requested a takeaway. Many more were anxious about over-development, traffic, pollution and maintenance of the village environment, all of which would be negatively impacted were this planning application to be granted.

The petition and the results from plan questionnaire indicate that the majority of residents in Ickleford are opposed to the suggestion of a takeaway in the proposed location. It is of course possible that the few who are in favour would be less enthusiastic were it to be sited next to them.

Miles Maxwell

Chairman Ickleford Parish Plan

Witter Ave

Ickleford

SIR - Ickleford - a stagnant and snobby village - I think not! It is both sad and disappointing that one of our oldest residents and a previous proprietor of Ickleford Stores should display such scathing comments to a petition against the proposal for a fish and chip shop in the village.

In what has been one of Ickleford's most memorable years that has seen a display of total community spirit through the excellent response to a Parish Plan questionnaire, a superb fund raising effort for the church, and of course our winning the 'Village of the Year' competition, it is hard to recognise such naive comments from a resident who has lived and run a business in the village for over 50 years.

An 'outstanding' and 'vibrant' village have been the more recently associated comments about Ickleford, and it is a pity that a more collective opinion wasn't taken and printed, than the one negative view expressed.

PHILIP J CROWE

Chairman of Ickleford

Parish Council

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