A scourge that blights our towns
GOVERNMENT plans to tackle the scourge of chicken shops on high streets reflect a changing world where people are more likely to use their phone than queue for chips on a Friday night.
While more and more shoppers head to out-of-town stores or go online, town centres have filled up with takeaways, charity shops and nail bars. But the high street takeaway boom has been deeply unpopular with residents who complain their odour and late-night opening hours drives down house prices. Sheffield Council says: ‘The majority of the smell complaints we receive are about hot food takeaway premises.’
And polling by the Policy Exchange think-tank shows that the majority of people think a quiet area is ‘important in making your area a pleasant place to live’.
But now technology is catching up with the takeaway market, with a dramatic increase in mobile phone apps to deliver food direct to users’ doors.
Policy-makers say this makes the need for a high street presence for takeaways redundant, with businesses able to make more money by basing their kitchens on industrial estates where they would get cheaper rent and rates and, crucially, are away from homes. By relaxing the law to allow old takeaway shops to be turned into houses, Ministers believe they are on to a vote winner and one solution to help solve Britain’s housing crisis.