A DECISION by the Planning Service to refuse an application for a change of use of a retail shop to a doughnut takeaway in Portstewart has been backed by councillors.
At last Tuesday night’s Planning Committee meeting Mr Adrian Brown told councillors the shop at 51 The Promenade had been opened without approval and that it undermined the Northern Area Draft Plan on the location of takeaways in the area.
Several councillors also highlighted the issue of the smell of the cooking particularly as there are flats above the takeaway.
“The smell of the cooking is permeating the dwelling above the shop,” said Cllr William McCandless.
Alderman William Creelman agreed saying the residents are unable to open their windows because of it.
Alderman Norman Hillis asked if the issue could be taken to an office meeting, however Cllr Christine Alexander said council should back the planners’ decision.
“We as a council agreed this policy in relation to where takeaways should be situated so we should support the Planners particularly when it is to do with policies we helped introduced,” said Cllr Alexander.
Several other councillors backed the decision by the Planning Service including Mayor of Coleraine, Alderman Maurice Bradley, who made an ammendment to back the refusal.
However Alderman Hillis said it was a matter of consistency.
“If we are going to be consistent this applicant has the right to an office meeting,” he said.
“If we give it to one then we should give it to another, otherwise we will have to delve into the background of every application.”
Cllr Alexander though said maybe it was time for councillors to be more selective when asking for office meetings.
“I can see were Alderman Hillis is coming from but maybe it’s time we were more selective in what we are asking for as planners may deem we are undermining their decisions,” said Cllr Alexander.
The Mayor said he always supported what he felt was right.
“I am always consistent with my decisions and have voted against office meetings in the past, at the end of the day I support what I feel is right,” he said.
A vote was taken for Alderman Bradley’s amendment with 13 councillors voting in favour of it with only four councillors voting in favour of Alderman Hillis’ proposal for an office meeting.
An application for signage at the premises was also recommended for refusal as planners felt is was ‘obtrusive and over dominant’.