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Papa John's wins city council approval to open new Gloucester pizza outlet

By The Citizen  |  Posted: July 03, 2014

Papa John's is set to open on Stroud Road, Gloucester

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PIZZA lovers across Gloucester face the mouth-watering prospect of yet another takeaway opening in the city.

Papa John’s boasts “better ingredients, better pizza” and continues to extend its reach across the UK after winning planning approval for a new Stroud Road store.

The chain is set to create 20 full-time jobs when it opens at the former DLK Furnishings premises but councillors already fear staff and customers will have nowhere to park.

The company’s plans were approved by city councillors on Tuesday night.

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Councillor Mary Smith, who represents Matson and Robinswood, said: “I am very worried about the parking – that road is often full of cars.

“Customers will not park across the road, they will park right outside and if people could drive their cars into a shop, I think they would.”

Planning officer Gavin Jones said parking is available at the Peel Centre, at Gloucester Quays and in bays beside the Tall Ships pub at the bottom of Southgate Street.

Councillors said customers will not be prepared to walk the short distance from these locations and are feared will park on the pavement or in the bus stop outside the store.

Labour councillor Chris Chatterton, former Mayor of Gloucester, said parking in the bus stop will “create problems for a well-used service that runs late at night.”

“The idea of parking further up the street outside residential properties is ludicrous as it is full every evening I drive up there,” he said.

Not one single objection has been raised by residents or Gloucestershire County Council to takeaway plans for the Grade II listed building which has been empty for around a year.

A letter will be sent to the highways authority to ask it looks at applications “with a bit more insight” after it was accused of making few objections to planning applications.

But Papa John’s said most orders will be delivered to residents’ homes and only a third will be collected.

Mr Jones said: “I accept you don’t want customers parking in the bus stop or where they were previously (on the pavement) but that is for police and highways to enforce.

“If people can’t park, it may not be commercially viable; if they can’t collect a take-away, they will go somewhere else.”

Agent Owen Pike told planners that his client Papa John’s is a “robust businesses bringing long-term presence to a primary part of the city” which will bring economic benefits and new jobs.

He said the take away will occupy a building which is currently in a poor state of repair as acknowledged by the Southgate Street appraisal.

The Citizen recently reported how Gloucester has 126 outlets offering anything from pizzas to burgers. This is an average of 100 people for every takeaway.

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