A KIOSK selling hot food on a seafront has been given planning permission despite dozens of objections from local people.
Portsmouth City Council received 37 letters and two petitions urging it to throw out an application for a takeaway selling Indian food and fish and chips on Southsea Esplanade.
But city planners said their main objection – that it would put other traders out of business – was not something they could legally take into account.
Among those against the plan is David Pople who rents the kiosks next to where the takeaway is set to move in, selling burgers and chips on one side and ice cream on the other.
He said: ‘It’s ridiculous, from my business to South Parade Pier you’ve got seven places selling hot food already.
‘But in the other direction there’s only one. If they want more hot food takeaways along the seafront why not spread them out a bit more? Have them staggered.
‘And I like a good curry but the smell is going to put people off buying my ice cream.
‘It’s not like they’re going to have any tables to sit down at, so they’ll probably end up using mine. It’s going to cause me no end of problems.’
Tory planning spokesman Cllr Luke Stubbs lives near the proposed takeaway site and said he thought committee members should have at least visited the area before making their decision.
‘I’m disappointed they didn’t wait for more information,’ he said. ‘There is a report into how many food outlets the seafront can support being compiled at the moment, and until that was finished I don’t think this decision should have been taken.
‘We don’t know how much this could damage other traders along the seafront who have to be allowed to make a viable living. We could be squeezing them too hard.’
He added that because the council owns the building it has even more control over what opens there.
But committee chairman Lee Hunt said the committee wasn’t able to decide what kind of food could be sold, only if the building’s use was suitable. He said: ‘There is demand for all types of food and we know that the seafront is changing.’