For batter or worse

PUBLISHED: 12:08 14 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:45 01 June 2010

Jay Patel - Pic: Brian Purdy

Jay Patel - Pic: Brian Purdy

RESIDENTS in a quiet Wisbech street are split over plans by shopkeeper Jay Patel to sell fish and chips. Mr Patel s proposed fish and chip shop has divided the community with dozens queuing up to sign rival petitions either supporting or opposing his plan

The corner shop where Jay hopes to sell fish and chips - Pic: Brian Purdy

RESIDENTS in a quiet Wisbech street are split over plans by shopkeeper Jay Patel to sell fish and chips.

Mr Patel's proposed fish and chip shop has divided the community with dozens queuing up to sign rival petitions either supporting or opposing his plans.

The Patels have owned Quaker Stores on the junction of Quaker Lane and Money Bank for the past three-and-a-half years but now Mr Patel wants to expand.

His proposal for a ground floor extension to house a fish and chip shop has so far attracted four letters and a petition with 58 names supporting him but there are 52 letters and a 107-signature petition opposing it.

Christopher Peckett, a Fenland District Council planning officer, says: "Overall, officers consider that the benefits of the fish and chip shop outweigh neighbours' concerns."

Nevertheless, officers feel a final decision must be taken by councillors at next Wednesday's meeting of the council's planning committee.

"Clearly this is a controversial issue where residents views are split," says Mr Peckett. "The proposal seeks to add and diversify an existing business, which is an important community facility in this location."

However, while supporters maintain the fish and chip shop will benefit the community, opponents cite parking, smell and noise as some of their reasons for objecting.

Mr Peckett agrees the fish and chip shop "is clearly a finely balanced issue" but overall believes odour objections can be dealt with by the council's environmental health team.

And while highways officials believe the proposal will increase traffic, Cambridgeshire County Council's highways officer "does not consider this will be detrimental to highway safety".

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