CAVEHILL RESIDENTS ACTION GROUP
25 Slievemoyne Park Belfast BT15 5GZ.
Mr P Savage
Divisional Planning Office
Belfast BT2 2FD
21st May 2004
Dear Mr Savage,
Ref; Proposed Conversion of 140 Cavehill Road to Take-Away Food bar
Cavehill Residents Action Group (CRAG) was formed a few years ago to lobby for an improved environment in our part of North Belfast. We are a cross community, non political, social grouping which has campaigned on a variety of local issues.
We write to express the strong objections of our members and local residents at the above proposal. Our core objections are as follows;
A) Existing Hot Food Bars
We submit that…thanks largely to the past decisions of the Planning Department… the hot food market is already grossly over-subscribed in this area, viz;
1) Next Door to the proposed site, at number 142 is Bumbles which serves a wide range of hot snacks, pies, pastries etc for taking away…
2) 106 Yards up the road from Bumbles…at Number 158 is Mr Indian & Mr Chips which provides a takeaway, home delivery and sit-in service for an extensive menu of “Authentic Indian Cuisine and Traditional European”.
3) Eight Yards further up the road from Mr Indian & Mr Chips at number 162 is Hello Kitchen which provides a “Chinese, Cantonese & European Hot Food Carry-Out Service”.
4) 50 Yards further up the road (on the opposite side) from Hello Kitchen is yet another Bumbles …which provides a café and take-away service for hot food.
5) 40 Yards further up the road from Bumbles Café (on the opposite side) is “Café Rhea” which provides a comprehensive restaurant and hot food take-away facility (mostly pizzas)
6) Eight Yards further up the road from Café Rhea is Bonapartes Bar & Restaurant…which provides a typical bar/restaurant service.
7) 20 yards across the road from Bonapartes Bar & Restaurant is our Spar Supermarket, which has a hot food facility for an extensive range of fast food and snacks.
In summary, therefore, within the space of a few hundred yards these seven hot food traders… almost all of which provide a take-away service…much of it late into the night… provide an over-abundance of this facility for this area. There are also many other such businesses within reasonable walking or driving distance.
C) Litter/Loss of Amenity
Given the abundance of hot food take-away facilities concentrated in this small area, the resultant litter on footpaths, gardens and roads is already a major problem and a serious blight on our area. It has been the cause of many complaints to Belfast City Council. Another takeaway can only add to these problems.
D) Noise & Disturbance
Residents’ rights to the peaceful enjoyment of their homes will be affected… not simply with the noise from customer traffic and delivery cars, but also from the groups of young persons who are certain to gather at the proposed site …and from the increased pedestrian traffic which is likely to develop from the clients of Bonapartes’ bar a few hundred yards up the road.
Much of this disturbance will to take place in the evenings and late at night, to the detriment of the lives of local residents.
E) Effect upon the established character/amenity of the area
The area around the proposed site is largely quality family homes…all paying high rates…Cooldarragh, Sunningdale, front of Cavehill etc. We have been struggling to maintain the nature of the local environment. This has not been assisted by the standard of maintenance of some of the local shops or the decisions of the Planning Department…but undoubtedly the established character of the area will be further eroded by the introduction of yet another hot food bar.
Finally…. Despite the persistent opposition of the community, supported by our local representatives and Belfast City Council, the Planning Dept has in the past granted planning permission for hot food bars in the immediate vicinity to number 140 … in particular to 158 and 162 Cavehill Road.
This has proven to be to the great detriment of our area… with some poor quality hot food shops bringing down the standard of the retail suppliers in the area…plus all the other unsavoury elements associated with such premises…e.g. litter, noise, traffic, a gathering place for unruly, even drunken elements etc.
On this occasion, we earnestly request that the Planning Department listen to the pleas of local residents and representatives… and not impose yet another unwanted takeaway which will be a blight on our local environment.
Thank you for granting an extension to objections until next Friday 28th May, so that local residents may be alerted. We look forward to meeting with you next Wednesday at 9.30 am to discuss this proposal with some local residents, MLA etc.
Mike Mc Cann