School and noise fears see planning appeal rejected

School and noise fears see planning appeal rejected

By Gareth Dennison | 11/02/2021

School and noise fears see planning appeal rejected


FOOD outlet Matki Chai’s planning appeal was rejected because of its location near a school and a “significant” potential for noise disturbance.

The cabin at Eastwood was refused last summer by RMBC, which had just introduced its policy outlawing takeaways within 800 metres of education centres.

An appeal has backed the council’s ruling despite mitigation offers from operators of the food business, based in the Pitstop car wash car park.

Planning inspector R Hitchcock said: “Although I have found in favour of the appellant in regard to siting where it would support the local centre function and offer employment opportunities, I conclude that these matters do not outweigh the harm identified in relation to the living conditions of nearby residents and location of the facility in close proximity to a school, where health and wellbeing aims would be undermined.  

“For the above reasons, I conclude the appeal should be dismissed.”


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Matki Chai is 280 metres from the St Ann’s Primary entrance, which goes against Rotherham Council’s policy — introduced last summer — to encourage healthy lifestyles.

The inspector said: “Whilst I acknowledge that other takeaways exist in the locality, and children attending the school would be of an age when they are unlikely to be allowed off premises at lunchtimes unaccompanied, these matters do not provide justification to increase the takeaway offer in an area identified for policy constraint.”

Matki Chai pointed to an academic study saying definitive conclusions could not be drawn from the siting of fast food outlets near schools but this was not seen as a compelling reason to ignore RMBC’s policy.

The business indicated a willingness to reduce its opening hours, having previously been turned down for a later closing time of 2am by the council’s licensing board.

Matki Chai also proposed CCTV with lighting and pointed out that the car park spaces could not be offered to customers if it was based in a shop unit on Fitzwilliam Road.

But the inspector said: “Nevertheless, I find the proposed opening hours and scale of the site, taken with the limited ability to mitigate such sources of noise, would give rise to significant potential for noise disturbance.”

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