There are those both in the village and further afield that are concerned about the level of takeaways appearing in their village setting. The latest opening is the Charcoal Grill in the High Street which by all accounts offers some great food but this is just the latest in a considerable line, earning Knaphill the moniker of ‘takeaway capital of Surrey’. The most recent application for change of use to class A5 is at the bottom of Anchor Hill and the question that has been on everybody’s lips is – do we need another one? Indeed, can we sustain one?!
As the competition between takeaways heats up, more advertising is to be found throughout; flyers and leaflets regularly drop through letterboxes and out of papers and one establishment has taken the opportunity to erect a fairly big banner from the top of the building in the High Street.
The question of litter will inevitably be discussed at length. I, personally, have not noticed it being a huge problem although you do notice occasional wrappers in the streets and other people will probably say it’s a huge issue. If it becomes apparent that littering is on the increase then we should be rightly concerned – it attracts all sorts of unwanted attention from rodents and foxes, not to mention that it is a blight to the appearance of the village.
There are also those who argue that any business is good for the area. Empty shops or stores are of no use to anyone so filling it with a takeaway should be welcomed. Should it? I wonder what people would say if we had a glut of estate agents, accountants, restuarants or even boutique shops? High levels of any store type result in a particular response from the residents.
To this end, we have ‘done a bit of research’ on how other villages and towns have tackled the excess and we found that we are far from alone in wondering if there should be limits imposed by planning for any business type in a certain area. Currently there are none and those in WBC who have been approached in the past have said that it simply isn’t possible. Well, actually, it is and it’s been done. It is problematic and it can be difficult to do so I can only think that it has fallen into the ‘too hard’ pile before. After some communication between the KRA, councillors and council, we have raised a considerable amount of interest and been given permission to raise the question at the next full council meeting.
Whatever the outcome of the meeting, we will of course let you know and in the meantime get in touch if you have any comments to make on the subject.