Papa John's pizza takeaway and coffee shop planned for landmark Portsmouth junction

PLANS for a new pizza takeaway and coffee shop at a busy Portsmouth junction have been criticised due to concerns about 'fattening up' local children.

Wednesday, 7th November 2018, 10:30 am
Updated Wednesday, 7th November 2018, 11:31 am
Rodney Road in Fratton Picture: Google

More than 250 of the site's neighbours signed a petition against a Papa John's and coffee bar opening on the corner of Rodney Road in Milton.

Many of the complaints came from residents of the senior apartment block Sommerson Lodge, opposite the former home of Aerial Business Communications, which is well known for the model of a mobile phone on its front wall..

Jennifer and John Kaye, were among those from the lodge objecting. In a letter to the council they said: 'Portsmouth is 15th on the obesity register in the country and Miltoncross Academy is approximately half a mile along the road, increasing the chances for these children to eat even more unhealthy food.'

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Rodney Road in Fratton Picture: Google

They were also concerned about traffic in the area and added: 'This is one of the most busy and polluted junctions in Portsmouth.

'There is very little parking in this area so people collecting food will park on both sides of Alverstone Road making it dangerous for the residents of Sommerson Lodge not to mention the noise and smells associated with a business like this.'

Their neighbour, Barbara Giles, agreed. 'Portsmouth is overrun with eating places waiting to fatten up an already obese city,' she said.

'I also assume you don't care about local schoolchildren using these facilities to get even fatter.

'I just wonder how much though has been given to the surrounding area of the proposed changes to its above site.'

A total of 258 people signed the petition against the plans and 28 wrote objection letters to the council. There was one letter of support.

Portsmouth City Council leader, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, shared their fears. In an objection letter he said: 'I am concerned about the loss of amenity to the residents of Sommerson Lodge from the extra late night car movements, the extra noise and the extra smell generated from this application.

'The city council is wanting to improve the health of residents and reduce obesity. Having an extra takeaway pizza joint is the opposite of this, so the application should fall.'

The junction at Sommerson Lodge is on the council's list of spots to test for deadly levels of nitrous dioxide in the air in the future. Currently there is no data on air pollution in that area.

Developers for the proposed coffee shop declined to comment. Those behind the Papa John's application were approached for comment.

The plans will be discussed and voted on at a future planning committee meeting.