Row over takeaway application

PUBLISHED: 12:39 09 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:11 06 May 2010

The owner of Ickleford Village Store Edward Charles and his daughter Gillian say a fish shop would revive a stagnant village

The owner of Ickleford Village Store Edward Charles and his daughter Gillian say a fish shop would revive a stagnant village

PLANS to open a fish and chip shop in a village appear to be taking a battering. A planning application to convert the old post office site in Walnut Way, Ickleford, into a takeaway has been met by opposition in the form of the parish council and a petiti

PLANS to open a fish and chip shop in a village appear to be taking a battering.

A planning application to convert the old post office site in Walnut Way, Ickleford, into a takeaway has been met by opposition in the form of the parish council and a petition signed by 171 people.

This has annoyed some villagers with Edward Charles, the 82-year-old owner of Ickleford Stores in Arlesey Road, calling it a "step backwards" and the decision by the council "snobbish".

Mr Charles said: "The village is getting stagnant, taking a step backwards if anything.

"Nothing changes. What's wrong with having a fish and chip shop here?

"I am very disappointed with the council as I thought they might want something new in the town. It appears rather snobbish.

"The matter remains that the shop is in a very good location and people will be able to go for some chips instead of travelling all the way to Hitchin.

"Arlesey and Stotfold each have a couple of fish and chip shops, why not us? It will be an asset to our village."

Philip Crowe, chairman of the parish council, disputes the claims of snobbery and said the people do not want a takeaway at the location.

He said: "We just don't think it is an ideal replacement for a residential area, but it is not snobbery.

"A replacement fish and chip shop for the closed store was not called for in a recent survey, there's just no demand for it.

"People as a whole just don't want it and we go along with them on that."

The applicant, Miss Lidder, has already been granted permission to turn the site, which closed in January 2004, into a two bedroom flat but would now like to go one step further.

She said there is a need for a takeaway.

"I would be disappointed if it didn't go through as there is no other place like it in the village and there is definitely a need for it. It's something different," she said.

A decision could be reached on the application by November 24.

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