Fish shop bid man has had his chips

PUBLISHED: 16:54 21 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:45 01 June 2010

Graham Dack, with wife Kathleen, arrive at Fenland Hall for the planning meeting – pic 5717

Graham Dack, with wife Kathleen, arrive at Fenland Hall for the planning meeting - pic 5717

SOLICITOR Graham Dack led a residents revolt which battered a corner shopkeeper s plan to open a fish and chip shop after he claimed a petition backing the proposals was flawed. Mr Dack, who lives near the Quaker Stores in Quaker Lane, Wisbech, spent hou

SOLICITOR Graham Dack led a residents' revolt which battered a corner shopkeeper's plan to open a fish and chip shop after he claimed a petition backing the proposals was flawed.

Mr Dack, who lives near the Quaker Stores in Quaker Lane, Wisbech, spent hours poring over a petition supporting the application and discovered many of the signatures were from children.

"There is even a signature by the bread delivery man who is thought not to live in the area," Mr Dack told Fenland District Council's Planning Committee on Wednesday.

Armed with the support of 70 other residents who had written letters of objection, he challenged planning officer Christopher Peckett's statement that the "petition of support has highlighted the need for a facility such as the proposed".

Utter rubbish, claimed Mr Dack, who unveiled his research and discovered that of the 52 names in support "a large number consist of addressed and signatures from Walsoken, Friday Bridge, Walton Highway and roads on the other side of Wisbech Town.

"A number of the signatories appear to be children and the first five signatures on the second page of the petition appear to have the same handwriting," he said.

Mr Dack said: "From the file inspection, it appears that there were no letters written in support, but there were four e-mails, two of these had no return address and could not be acknowledged and one was identified as a schoolgirl."

Mr Dack said the letters, plus a 107-signature petition, demonstrated "there is no local need for the provision of a fast food outlet at Quaker Lane".

Noise, disturbance, smells and litter would all be exacerbated, he said, and traffic and air pollution would increase.

But the biggest fear was for highway safety and it was this main objection which won support from councillors.

They voted 6-1 to reject the application by Jay Patel, with one councillor abstaining.

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