Residents’ anger at takeaway application

The potential site of the takeaway. Picture: Joey Kelly
The potential site of the takeaway. Picture: Joey Kelly
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Fed-up residents of a city village are battling plans to open another takeaway amid claims the area is overrun with fast food outlets.

Roberto Morelli wants to open a pizza pasta takeaway in an empty retail unit on Corstorphine’s Glasgow Road.

A row of food outlets already on Glasgow Road. Picture: Joey Kelly

A row of food outlets already on Glasgow Road. Picture: Joey Kelly

The bid has already been refused by city planners, but it is believed Mr Morelli has appealed to the Scottish 
Government.

His plans have prompted a backlash from residents who are concerned about the existing glut of late-night, fast food joints – with five already operating within yards of each other.

It comes after the Evening News revealed takeaway outlets could remain open all night after council bosses ordered the first overhaul of the city’s late-night licensing rules in more than a decade.

Ken Swinney, who objected to the plans on behalf of Corstorphine Community Council, said: “Corstorphine already has more than its fair share of takeaways.

“If this goes ahead it will cause traffic and parking problems and quite simply, the neighbourhood just does not want it. At the moment, the takeaways that are already there are causing problems because customers are unable to park on the main road so they head in to the residential streets.

“It seems like the council wants to see these empty units filled as quickly as possible so they can get their rates.”

The area is already home to a Chinese restaurant, Chinese takeaway, chip shop, a pizzeria and a McDonald’s.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s a terrible idea, we don’t need another takeaway.

“There’s enough rubbish lying about the street, people go to these shops and stuff their wrappers in the hedge.

“And there’s nowhere to park – it’s ridiculous.”

The council’s planning department turned down the application to change the use of the vacant unit, formerly an MOT building and car wash, earlier this year.

The application attracted 85 objections to the plans, with many residents expressing concern at an over provision of takeaways.

It was refused on the grounds that the application would have a detrimental impact on the living conditions of nearby residents by leading to an unacceptable increase in noise and disturbance.

Ashley Dunlop, 29, a staff nurse who lives nearby, said: “There are loads of takeaway places already.

“Having another one is not ideal, I would have preferred if it was going to be a newsagents or something like that.

“It makes the area look bad – you do start to think that Corstorphine is going down hill.”

Last week it emerged that the council had set up a panel to decide if some fast food joints should be allowed an all-night licence from 11pm to 5am – instead of the current closing time of 3am – which could see takeaways open around the clock.

The working group will decide whether the current licensing policy is outdated, and their findings will be put to the Regulatory Committee in September.

But grave concerns have been highlighted about the effect it could have on residents in terms of noise, antisocial behaviour and rubbish pollution. Critics also fear it could further fuel obesity problems.

According to a 2012 report by Weight Watchers, there is one takeaway for every 725 people in Edinburgh – the third highest ratio in the UK.

But Kasim Yilmaz, whose family owns Zara takeaway, on the Cowgate, claimed the council’s late-night food policy is in desperate need of an update because bosses are already “bending the rules” for dozens of places including McDonald’s and 24-hour garages.

Councillor Gavin Corbett, who previously called for a review into the number of fast food outlets in the city, said: “There is a creeping culture of fast food outlets being open later and later.

“Along with the problems fast food causes health wise, there are also serious concerns about noise and antisocial behaviour. If people are looking for fast food at four and five in the morning it’s because they have been at a pub or a club really late and it’s not the most peaceful type of use.”

Mr Morelli was unavailable for comment.