Oct. 26, 2003
EDINBURGH, Scotland-The opening of a Domino's Pizza store in the affluent Stockbridge neighborhood faced a recent setback when locals said the business would make one-too-many fast-food shops in the area.
According to a report in The Scottsman, the Domino's franchisee had applied for permission to open a branch in the area, but planning officials recommended it be refused because there are several fast-food outlets operating nearby.
Andrew Firth, owner of Herbie's Delicatessen in Raeburn Place, said the number of such outlets isn't his concern.
"I have the view that a shop that is filled is preferable to one that is lying empty," Firth said.
Stockbridge councilor Michael Dixon echoed Firth's remarks.
"The shop has been empty for some time and I would far rather it be occupied," Dixon said. "I would support the application because most of the business from Domino's Pizza would be delivery, requiring fewer customers on foot."
The site has been empty for a year, and a spokeswoman for Ryden, the real estate company leasing the property, said it has struggled to find a renter. "We are concerned that if Domino's don't receive the planning consent needed that the unit may be unoccupied for a long time."
Local resident George Leligdowicz, a member of Stockbridge Community Council, backed the authority's recommendation and said the shop was not required in an already over-subscribed area.
"There are already several takeaway and pizza shops along Raeburn Place and Comely Bank Road," Leligdowicz said. "The main problem is the unbelievable amount of litter that is caused."
Planning chiefs said that were the Domino's unit to open, it would mean 40 percent of the shops in the block would be foodservice operations. The council hopes the space would be used by another type of retailer.
Aan Henderson, head of planning at Edinburgh City Council said the yearlong vacancy in the slot isn't enough time "to conclude that the unit is incapable of attracting a retail use."
Still, a spokeswoman for Domino's Pizza said the company is holding out hope the store will be allowed to open when the final vote is cast on Oct. 29.
"We are very keen to open further stores in the area and will do everything we can to demonstrate why we deserve to be granted planning permission," she said.