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RESIDENTS WIN THE FIGHT TO SAVE FORMER BAKERY FROM BECOMING A TAKEAWAY

 Published on: 20th October 2017   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category:

  Anxious locals who launched a ‘No More Takeaways’ campaign are rejoicing after an application to turn a bakery into a kebab shop was refused. In last month’s My Abbots News we revealed that Tophams bakers in the High Street had closed and owners Mansbridge & Son Ltd had applied to change the premises from A1 to A5 use (hot food and takeaways). Simon East, whose butchers shop is based next door to the bakers, launched a petition against the idea and received the support of many other shopkeepers and residents. The application was considered by Three Rivers District Council’s planning committee on November 21 and, to the delight of Simon and local residents, was thrown out. Abbots residents had argued that there are already two fish and chip shops in the village which serve kebabs, and an abundance of restaurants/ takeaways serving Chinese and Indian food. Shopkeepers feared that people would no longer shop in the High Street if it was “overrun” by takeaway venues. Abbots Langley Parish Council had also spoken out against the plans, saying: “There are already a large number of food takeaway establishments within the immediate and surrounding area and there is no requirement for another, adding to the noise, smells, traffic, litter and parking issues.” A total of 105 people commented on the application on Three Rivers’ website. Simon East and the rest of the community are now over the moon with the outcome. The butcher said: “It was rejected with a unanimous verdict and obviously we’re delighted. They can appeal but it’s unlikely they will. “A big reason why it was rejected is because there were people interested in taking it on for A1 use.” A spokesman for Three Rivers confirmed: “The application was refused based on the reasons in the recommendation.” Hertfordshire-based Simmons Bakers told My Abbots News that they have shown an interest in the premises. Rupert Matthews of Simmons Bakers said: “We feel it is a good site that, if run properly, would be an asset to the local community and high street.” Locals now wait with baited breath to see whether Simmons or another A1 business take on the shop.  

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