Plans for a new Domino’s Pizza take-away in Burnham-On-Sea town centre have been given final approved by district councillors this week.
13 councillors voted in favour of the application and just two voted against when they considered the proposals during a meeting of Sedgemoor’s Development Control Committee on Tuesday (March 30th).
Domino’s will be able to open a new outlet in Burnham’s Victoria Street in place of the previous Barclays Bank premises, but the store will have to close each night at 1am, which is earlier than the 3am originally requested due to late night noise concerns.
16 letters of objection and three letters of support were considered by councillors during the meeting.
Nearby property landlord Michelle Murphy told councillors that the proposals are “wholly inappropriate for this business with an unacceptable adverse impact on the tenants,” pointing out that “an extremely narrow alley measuring two metres separates our property from the bank and pizza delivery vehicles will pass within six inches of the tenant’s windows and doors day and night.” She also raised concerns about noise and other issues.
But Fergus Sykes, from Pegasus Group on behalf of Domino’s, said “significant changes have been made to the proposals to address key concerns which were raised”, saying that noise mitigation measures have been taken to “keep noise to an acceptable level” and that the applicant has reduced its closing time from 3am to 1am.
Committee chairman Bob Filmer told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “The committee voted in favour of consent subject to amendments to conditions relating to food deliveries and opening hours. The council’s licensing section will be reviewing the opening hours and it was noted that controls are in place after 11pm. Councillors also considered concerns from residents about possible late night noise and food odour extraction methods.”
“It was also noted that it would be positive to have a new business like a national chain coming to Burnham, helping to sustain the town centre. On balance, the committee felt it should go ahead.”
Members of the Town Council’s Planning Applications Committee voiced concerns over potential late night noise when they considered the Domino’s plans, as reported here. Town councillors voted to allow the pizza chain to open until 1am, instead of 3am as requested.
In a report to Sedgemoor councillors this week, Case Officer Dean Titchener recommends approval, stating: “The proposal makes use of an empty premises within the town centre. It will provide employment and may bring in visitors to the town.”
He adds: “Following changes to retain the elements of the shopfront most important to its character, the change of use is considered acceptable.”
“There are no other impacts (noise/odour etc) which cannot be adequately controlled via planning conditions, or in the case of hours of operation, the subsequent late night refreshment licence process.”
The 16 objections raised issues including late night noise, traffic congestion, reduced parking, litter, waste collection, anti social behaviour, adversely impacting the character of Burnham’s conservation area, food odours, and adversely affecting other established food businesses.
Those in support of the planning application by Domino’s say the new outlet will boost Burnham’s retail area by filling an empty premises, create new jobs, increase the range of food choices available late at night, and also benefit a secondary retail area.
Cllr Phil Harvey wrote to Sedgemoor District Council objecting against the plans by Domino’s. He noted that it contravenes parts of the Local Plan and Burnham’s Neighbourhood Plan around the impact on residential properties due to the proposed early morning closing time. He also questioned whether Domino’s would maintain the character of the building, and be a possible negative impact on existing firms.
Barclays closed its Burnham branch at the site in October 2018, as Burnham-On-Sea.com reported here at the time. The property has been vacant ever since.