Plan to convert Matlock barbershop into takeaway sparks outcry from neighbours over antisocial behaviour
The owner of a Matlock barbershop has ruffled a few feathers after unveiling a plan to turn the premises into a fried chicken takeaway.
Mehmet Akkurt is seeking permission from Derbyshire Dales District Council to change the use of the Vegas Barbers building at 34-36 Dale Road, and the planning committee will consider the application on Tuesday, April 20. Council officers have recommended it be refused.
No major alterations to the exterior of the single-storey 19th century building are being proposed at this stage but the prospect of a commercial catering operation on the site is causing consternation among neighbouring residents.
In a submission to planning officers, Robert Guy, who lives in Knightsbridge Terrace, which is directly behind the property and accessed via a private road at its side, said: “We are strongly opposed to the application due to concerns regarding increased litter and anti-social behaviour in our driveway.
“If you choose to live on Dale Road you have to expect and accept a degree of noise and celebratory behaviour. However there comes a point when this is no longer acceptable or reasonable.
“Our driveway is regularly used by people who urinate, defecate (yes really!), have sex or pass out drunk. We have called an ambulance more than once having found people drunk and unconscious in our drive.
“Another takeaway shop, directly by our drive, can only make the problem worse. We also have to put up with a huge litter problem, mainly pizza boxes, polystyrene burger boxes, which we regularly clear off our property.”
Such sentiments have been echoed by other neighbours in submissions to the council but while planning officers have noted the existing problems with anti-social behaviour in the area, they say the addition of another takeaway would be unlikely to make that situation any worse, an assessment disputed by councillors Steve Wain and Martin and Sue Burfoot, who have lodged objections on residents’ behalf.
Coun Wain wrote: “The type of business proposed differs greatly from that already in operation and is likely to have the potential to provide a greater degree of negative impact on the community.”
The shop unit was once home to the Derbyshire Larder delicatessen but the prospect of a different kind of food business requires fresh consideration. The plans leave unanswered questions about the storage and disposal of waste and the containment of smells, noise and pollutants.
Planning officers are recommending the application be refused on the grounds that the applicant has provided insufficient information about how the business would preserve the character of the area, in line with local planning policies and rules governing the Matlock Bridge conservation area.
They also mention that a concentration of evening economy businesses giving rise to social and environmental issues should not be supported.
Mehmet Akkurt did not respond to a request for comment.
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