The opening of a new pizza franchise in town was on the menu for councillors this evening – with plans for the new store receiving unanimous support.
Back in April 2017 Wrexham.com reported that Papa John’s Pizza had submitted plans to partially convert a vacant property in Regent House, Regent Street, into a takeaway and delivery outlet.
The application submitted at the time stated that permission was being sought to install new signage for five years at the Regent Street property.
Papa John’s is known worldwide and already has 250 stores across the UK, however this will be the first Wrexham franchise.
Last week when Wrexham.com reported that the application was finally due before the planning committee, with more than 120 people commenting on our Facebook post.
There had been some concerns raised by neighbouring residents, with five letters objecting to the proposals submitted to Wrexham Council.
Such concerns include vehicle nouse, devaluation of properties, impact of car parking at the neighbouring Caxton Place, public gatherings around the takeaway, litter problems and disturbance late at night.
However today reassurance about the parking was offered by planning officer David Williams, who that the initial application for the takeaway had been amended in terms of appearance, highways and opening hours.
Mr Williams said: “Due to the proximity to Caxton Place, we felt need to control the hours of use. The initial application said it would be open until 3am, we have looked at that and have expressed some concern over duration of opening times. Condition six shows it is restricted to midnight on any day
“We have since had correspondence from applicants, they are happy to restrict to later than 11pm Sunday to Thursday and midnight Friday to Saturday.
“The point the application is making is if it’s reduced further than 11pm, it would make it unviable as a commercial enterprise and the applicant wouldn’t be interested in taking the scheme further.”
It was also noted that five parking spaces would be provided at the rear of the property and that there is nearby 30 minute parking that customers could use if required.
However concerns about the parking were raised by councillor for the Grosvenor ward, Marc Jones, who asked for reassurance for local residents that a “greater problem” wouldn’t be created.
He said: “My concern is about the lack of parking. There will be six delivery vehicles, staff in the kitchen and people stopping there to get takeaways, there is only room for five.
“We already have a parking deficit in that area. People in Caxton Place have issues accessing their own block of flats at times. I fear this is only going to make things worse.
“I would like as much reassurance as possible for residents that we are not going to create a greater problem.”
Cllr Jones also noted that the committee should “take advantage” of the option to reduce the opening hours in the week to 11pm.
Such concerns were echoed by Cllr Andrew Atkinson, who queried if signage directing customers to the parking at the rear of the property could be enforced.
Mr Williams said: “The applicant has provided parking to rear for up to five and there is additional parking in close proximity.
“I think it is also important to note the existing use had a parking demand, if it was used for retail use there would still be pressures in that area for parking.”
Commenting on the potential litter in the area, Cllr I David Bithell requested if a condition to have bins installed in the area, could be enforced. The committee was told it was possible.
Speaking in favour of the plans, Cllr David Maddocks said: “I think it is a great opportunity for the town.
“It’s an empty shop turned into a business and creating jobs. I think it is great for the town and I will be supporting it.”
The application, along with the amended / reduced opening hours, were backing unanimously by the committee.
*Picture – Google Maps