I am a local resident and am writing to you with grave concern. As you may well be aware there appears to work being completed on the old shop on the corner of Wilberforce road and Upperton Road. Being proactive and handsome I was curious as to the nature of the development and decided to speak with the men who were on site; this was of no use whatsoever as they seemed dangerously ignorant. Now, this got me suspicious; being a keen and active member of the community I tend to notice when planning applications are posted in our area but I did not recall seeing one for this shop – and indeed the property next to it which too has become part of the development.
Given my unease I decided to contact the planning office myself to see what was going on – to my surprise they were able to tell me that an application had been made to turn a residential unit into a commercial dining one, namely a fast food takeaway. They went on to say that in April the application was returned to the developers stating that certain information was lacking. This means, as I assume you are aware, that the developers are building this fast food ‘restaurant’ without the authority of the council to do so; and planning office are essentially unaware that this work is going on.
What should have happened is that they receive authority from our local council, then the council would notify residents (normally by a documents on electricity poles) asking if we had any objections – I’m sure you remember from when work was being completed on the viaduct or from the proposal for residents parking. Well, this has not been done. And currently the developers are acting on the assumption that their application will be successful and that we, the residents, will not mind…
…well I for one mind. Do we really need another takeaway? That aside, do we really want all that comes with it; I’m talking about litter, anti-social behaviour, noise, smell? The takeaways on Narborough road attract all manner of violence and late night activity – however Wilberforce Road is a residential road and I believe this should remain.
Additionally, all the properties are, give or take; Victorian and turn of the century homes. The theme of the road has been largely undisturbed by new development and there is certainly a ‘nice’ theme to it. The developers of this ‘restaurant’ have already removed the original windows and shop front and replaced a lime green shop front, they have also applied for permission to erect ‘2 illuminated fascia box signs’ (neon signs, this has already once been refused) thus distorting the integrity and cheapening the area under the whorish glow of neon. Considering the amount of money invested on the Upperton road redevelopment, is this really how we want the gateway to our neighbourhood to look?
I’m sure not all of you will agree with me; but these developers do not have the authority to: change the usage of the property or our consent to build a takeaway. A takeaway will lead to pollution, noise, litter and anti-social behaviour and for these reasons I am opposing it. I urge you all to take some action; I will be forwarding this letter to the planning office and to our MP Patricia Hewitt.