A scourge that blights our towns

The Mail on Sunday - - News -

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.

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