Honor Oak Dominoation plan rejected

Domino's Pizza has been refused permission for a change of use of the Old Bank restaurant in Honor Oak Park. The Council's verdict agreed with the points made by campaigners against the plan: that it would be an unacceptable loss of a local amenity and create traffic and noise problems that would be to the detriment of the rest of the high street.

On balance, this is the right result and nothing to one's opinion about Domino's products. The handsome Old Bank should be given a chance to continue as a restaurant. Hopefully, a restaurateur will now come forward to take it on. In the mean time, Domino's have the financial and commercial clout to identify another location in the area, from where they will be able to operate their takeaway services. There must be an empty unit with planning permission for a takeaway facility somewhere in this part of South East London...

69 comments:

Anonymous said...

Snobbery, pure and simple.

Lou Baker said...

On balance ... a restauranteur is unlikely to come forward to take it over.

In this economic climate turning down a successful business is an absolutely barking decision. Barking.
Jobs could have been created. That opportunity has now gone.

This is another hollow victory for the Guardian reading corduroy brigade. Decent folk everywhere should wince when we see the damage these misguided fools inflict on our society.

mikey said...

Maybe. But sometimes snobbery can be a good thing.

Simon said...

I am totally with Nick on this. If Domino's had been granted change of use, HOP would have lost an attractive restaurant site. There must be other options open to Domino's in the area and I sincerely hope they are successful in finding a suitable unit.
@ Anon 13.56 - How is this snobbery?
Nobody is suggesting Domino's shouldn't be allowed to set up shop locally. The objections have been based on us losing an attractive restaurant space locally. It will be much easier for Domino's to find a suitable unit for takeaway than it will for a someone looking for restaurant space in the area.
Anon, your comment sounds chippy - pure and simple!

Simon said...

@Lou - I agree with you on most things and an established chain moving into the area does have its benefits.
That said, I still think we will get a Domino's and I also believe the Old Bank will be snapped up by someone wanting to use it as a restaurant.
I don't think this is a hollow victory for the Guardian reading corduroy brigade on this occasion.
If the property stands empty for a long time then yes, perhaps Domino's should take it. If not, then we may have a new decent restaurant.

Brockley Nick said...

@Lou - what happen to your love of entrepreneurs? On the basis of what market intelligence do you say that a restaurant wouldn't work there? And did you read the stuff about the fact that a Domino's at that spot could damage the existing businesses located there? And the point that Domino's are more than capable of finding another nearby location? Do you disagree?

fattyfatty said...

Lou i usually agree with you too, but think that this site is too prime a pitch for a Dominos. A bar or other restaurant would be a much better use. Cheap pizzas are catered for elsewhere on the parade.

DJ said...

Lou, I rarely agree with you and you're wrong in this case too.
It's an excellent decision. There are loads of vacant shops that Dominos could open in - why needlessly destroy a precious resource.
Honor Oak is on the up and a decent restaurant could do very well there.

Anonymous said...

Brockley Nick obviously doesn't understand the state of the current restaurant market, or the area he lives in.

Next week another viable business is bullied into submission by the house price gestapo...

Anonymous said...

I didn't realise the Domino Gestapo read this!

Matt-Z said...

Good news. There are umpteen suitable empty shops in Brockley, Crofton Park and Honor Oak. The old Bank premises has great potential. I wouldn't be surprised if an up and coming pub chain like Antic wanted to reopen it as a new bar. There must be a lot of unmet demand in the area.

Anonymous said...

Honour Oak is pretty quiet not sure even a good bar would work there. Haven’t others already come and gone?

Michael said...

Plenty of additional discussion at http://www.se23.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=4925&page=1

Domino's use of this site would have been a waste of good retail space at the most prime retail location in Honor Oak.

This would make an excellent pub or restaurant, or even a good old bank. But to use such a large unit purely to bake pizza for delivery would have been a terrible waste. This would be true if it were any pizza delivery business, even Fortnum and Mason's pizza delivery service.

There has even been rumour that a well known local pub chain might have been interested in this location.

If this really were purely about snobbery then I don't think we would have seen the council officers rejecting the application without even taking it to a planning committee. This proves how right the hundreds of objectors were in caring for a prime unit in their local area, the impact 7 motorcycles parked outside, and the impact on existing businesses, at least two of which would likely be empty within a few months of Dominos opening.

Despite this I would agree that it is not a complete victory until there is a viable business open in this great location.

Lou Baker said...

Wow. People who agree with me. This area is changing for the better.

@nick - to answer your 3 points:
1) I don't doubt a restaurant could work there. But where is this restaurant going to come from? People are not queuing up to start businesses now. If there was a viable restaurant plan on the table - great, go for it. But there isn't.

2) I am sure Dominos could indeed find another spot. But it will, obviously, delay any opening and ensure that a few dozen staff spend another six months on benefits instead. This does not seem sensible.

3) As for 'ruining other businesses' - I have little respect for this argument. Good businesses will survive regardless, bad ones will close down. I do not believe we should assume a business is good because it's small and local or that it's bad because it's large and national. There are good small businesses and good bigs ones. And bad ones in both categories too. I believe good businesses thrive because they're good businesses and bad ones don't because they're not. Dominos opening nearby makes not a jot of difference.

(I am now awaiting complaints from owners of bad businesses who don't realise that their problems are caused by their businesses being bad).

fidgad said...

Perhaps Domino's could go for the Masons that's empty

Anonymous said...

That's it, I'm moving back to the home counties!

DJ said...

A 'few dozen staff' Lou? For a takeaway pizza place? Bollocks.
And the poor things on benefits too!
This is desperate stuff, even for you.
Admit it, you're wrong. Dominos will be up and running in a nearby premises soon and the Old Bank will be available for a more suitable business.

The anon from the other thread said...

"But where is this restaurant going to come from?" tm2 has a new purchaser that is looking to do things better, brockley market shows there is a pent up demand for quality. Could go on but as you've used "brigade" in your post I can't be arsed.

All heat and no light from you. As usual.

Simon said...

@Lou - How can you be sure that Domino's HOP staff will be taken straight off the dole queue?
I agree that good businesses survive because they are good businesses and I don't think a Domino's would have too much of an adverse affect on the parade.
If Domino's were an eat-in restaurant as well as a take-away I'd have no objections to them opening in that site although I would personally love it to be a Pizza Express.

Simon said...

@Lou - How can you be sure that Domino's HOP staff will be taken straight off the dole queue?
I agree that good businesses survive because they are good businesses and I don't think a Domino's would have too much of an adverse affect on the parade.
If Domino's were an eat-in restaurant as well as a take-away I'd have no objections to them opening in that site although I would personally love it to be a Pizza Express.

The anon from the other thread said...

"But where is this restaurant going to come from?" tm2 has a new purchaser that is looking to do things better, brockley market shows there is a pent up demand for quality. Could go on but as you've used "brigade" in your post I can't be arsed.

All heat and no light from you. As usual.

Tim said...

Well I just hope that the place is quickly occupied by the nice restaurant that everyone is hoping for. In the current economic environment, I'm not sure being picky about our tenants is a great idea.

THNick said...

Lou, I usually disagree with you and partly disagree with you now. I agree that we shouldn't be turning down viable businesses because we don't like their products/blue signs. But I also think that letting a small scale takeaway business (few dozen staff? 6 in total I reckon) take over the prime retail spot would be a bad idea. A successful restaurant would bring greater economic benefits to the area and I don't think it's that unlikely.
Near this location, la querce, babur and the HOT all prosper, why shouldn't this location do well too? Well done to the council for pressing for the best (not just quickest) solution.

Lou Baker said...

@THNIck

I am not saying a restaurant wouldn't prosper.

But there are no plans for a restaurant.

In the meantime we have turned down a perfectly viable business plan.

And all because the corduroy brigade look down on those who order take away pizzas. Prefering, as they do, lattes, muffins and olive and sun dried tomato wraps.

Anonymous said...

How do you know there are no plans?

Lou Baker said...

Well that depends on how you define plans.

I'm talking plans as in submitted to the council.

If you're talking plans as in "a mate said to another mate in a pub wouldn't this be a great idea" ... then maybe there are plans.

But to get from the sort of plans you're talking about to the sort of plans I'm talking about takes time and money. Neither of which is in great supply in these harsh times.

DJ said...

Lou, just endlessly regurgitating dated cliches about the middle classes isn't actually an argument. Nobody is against a pizza place per se - just one in that premises.
Read the comments above and try again.

Anonymous said...

I'm sick of all these poor shops blighting South London.

I didn't move here from Oxford to watch the value of my property fall!

Anonymous said...

That's how I define plans too. But now at least there is somewhere for those plans - instead of it being wasted on a pizza place that could easily take another empty premises.

Me again said...

Could this be the same Lou who brands deptford high street a dump? And all the thriving market traders as probably dodgy? Man of the people? No, just a boring old windbag with no interesting or constructive ideas (is there a windbag brigade?) we can and should be able to shape the high street we live near. The unfettered market does need reigning in occasionally, as a borderline fascist you should recognise that.

You also applauded brockley market, who do you think shops there? The very people you are currently slagging off. Constantly carping is dull.

Brockley Nick said...

@Lou

"I am not saying a restaurant wouldn't prosper."

You were saying that.

"But there are no plans for a restaurant."

Because it hasn't been on the market.

"In the meantime we have turned down a perfectly viable business plan."

It wasn't a viable business plan, because it relied on a Use Class that the site didn't have. In the same way, my Super Casino dream for Homemade London is not a viable business plan.

If speed is of the essence, they shouldn't have buggered around with the wrong kind of site, they should have found a place with the relevant planning permission.

"And all because the corduroy brigade look down on those who order take away pizzas. Prefering, as they do, lattes, muffins and olive and sun dried tomato wraps."

No that was not one of the three reasons why the Council (not the public) rejected the application. I quite like Dominos pizzas (had them for the first time the other week) and would defend their right to sell doubghy, salty, cheesy junk food, but they should do so without us losing a restaurant in the process.

There were one or two people who said they should not be able to open on account of the fact that they were junk-food pushers, but their views were as irrelevant and wrong as Anon 13:56s.

If it goes on the market properly and a buyer is not found within a year, then I'd be happy for this decision to be revisited. But I am confident that by then Domino's will be happily trading from another local site.

Anonymous said...

Brockley, the Paris of South London is suffering a plebeian revolt. Run for the hills with your cloth bags!

And another thing said...

Anon from Oxford. Don't worry, London is doing ok compared to outside the m25. Your money is safe AND you don't live in dullsville.

Mmm it tastes better... said...

"but they should do so without us losing a restaurant in the process."

Hang on, is this whole argument based on the assumption a fancy restaurant is going to appear out of the blue during this tough time?! Do you even know how many restaurants a closing every year...

Spits out tea.... said...

"And all because the corduroy brigade look down on those who order take away pizzas"

Missed that bit, Lou you CONSTANLTY slag off people you consider to be the lower orders. Are you seeing a therapist about your multiple personalities?

Brockley Nick said...

"Hang on, is this whole argument based on the assumption a fancy restaurant is going to appear out of the blue during this tough time?!"

Restaurant, yes. If you'd read the discussions properly from the start, you wouldn't have to be asking the question now.

But not a fancy restaurant necessarily, no. Just somewhere where people can sit, meet, congregate - a place that might encourage people to go for a drink nearby beforehand or afterwards.

"Do you even know how many restaurants a closing every year..."

Are you saying that no new restaurants will open now or in the future? In the UK? London? Or is Honor Oak uniquely cursed?

I'm sure you can share the stats with us. I'd refer you to Brockley's Rock, a restaurant / takeaway that opened in Brockley earlier this year and appears to be doing rather well. Or I could point you to the queues outside the Orchard and the Brockley Mess, the fact that Toads Mouth has found a buyer, etc, etc. Perhaps the stats say that these places are a figment of my imagination.

Anonymous said...

Aaaand... Lou is demolished. Again.

Anonymous said...

actually, Brockley's Rock is in Ladywell . . .

DJ said...

Oh God - it's a boundaries bore! Run!

Not Ladywell but woteva said...

Anonymous: What has that got to do with anything?

Welcome to 2011 said...

If I didn't know better I'd say that random intervention by a boundaries bore (hat tip DJ) was Lou trying rapidly to change the subject.

Mmm it tastes better... said...

"But not a fancy restaurant necessarily, no. Just somewhere where people can sit, meet, congregate"

Bus stop? Chicken shop?

Brockley Nick said...

"Chicken shop?"

Well why not a Nando's? Another big chain pushing food of questionable nutritional value, but one that draws people in to the high street rather than serving them with a fleet of scooters, delivering to their homes.

You can keep trying to make it about posh people oppressing the common man, but no matter how hard you try, it still isn't.

Moronymous said...

Durr, yes Anonymous - brilliant! Well done.

Now run along.

DJ said...

Mmmmm it tastes bitter.

corduroy brigade member.. said...

Mmmm i love takeaway pizza.

Out of interest does anyone live in a dominos blackspot as far as i can tell they already deliver to most parts of Brockley. My usual order takes about 40 mins.

Anonymous said...

invwerted pyramid of piffle!
Snobbery? Of course not, that is just a label for those looking for one.
It's about appropriate usage of building stupid.A take away pizza business can,and does,set up just fine in a normal High St shop.

Anonymous said...

Dominics is nice. As far as I know they don't use locally sourced veg though.

Anonymous said...

I seem to have stumbled into a OCD support group...

spincat said...

I was against Dominos moving in there -for the reasons the Council rejected the application- but would love a Nando's there.

Anonymous said...

Dominics is some of the best pizza in the area, and the BBQ wings are fab too. The likes of Nick would never give them a fair shake of course.

thin base said...

fair shake?

Is that how you get the excess oil off?

Anonymous said...

Dominos mings.

Anonymous said...

Brockley mungs.

kolp said...

For all that people go on about mungs and organic food, there isn't much for fast healthy eating around here.

Anonymous said...

A shish kebab? Grilled lamb, salad in a pitta. Healthier than a lump of cheese (although I'd take both thanks)

By the way, just because nick doesn't critique every food establishment in the area doesn't mean there is some grand conspiracy. This isn't the Yellow Pages.

DJ said...

That Anon is creepily obsessed with Dominics and Nick 'ignoring' it. Either he is Dominic or he has him chained up in his cellar.

Simon said...

Perhaps it might be a good idea to ask BC regulars what kind of restaurant they would like to see going into the Old Bank site and how much they would be prepared to pay for a three course meal with a bottle of house wine in a good local?

THNick said...

Simon - an expanded la querce would be nice. Or a French brasserie. Or a sister restaurant to Meze Mangal (if they can source a new containre). Or a Nando's.

But I'd also prefer Pizza Hut, a cheap and rubbish Indian, a wetherspoons or a pizza express to Dominos. I wont go there but I think it'll be better for the area.

And Lou "there are no plans" - in what circumstances can you imagine the council receiving two applications from competiting businesses?

Ben said...

A Dominos at such a prominent location would attract too many lower classes to the high street and thus adversely affect property prices.

And DJ, does your tongue ever leave Nick's a-hole?

Ben said...

This is a forum about our property prices right??

Ben said...

Hi everyone, Ben here one more time. I've just had a chance to read back through the actual points people have made and I realise now that my posts above were complete rubbish. It's nothing to do with house prices and actually a very sensible discussion about how to create a successful high street in Honor Oak, that works for everyone, rich and poor.

Ignore me - my friends and colleagues do!

DJ said...

'a-hole' What are you - 12? You arsehole.

Ben said...

DJ, no need for profanity no matter how upset you are.

Incidentally what are we going to do about those other poor places like launderettes and cafes that don't serve fair trade coffee?

kolp said...

I notice that the conversations on here are becoming more crude.
I heard Nick telling Tamsin that she had pulled an argument out of her "arse" the other day. SMH

Ben's mummy said...

Sorry about Ben, it's the holidays and he gets very bored. I tried sending him to the Occupy London camp but they weren't keen. He isn't very bright and does tend to annoy people.

DJ said...

Oh, you are twelve. Sorry Ben - didn't mean to use a naughty word.

DJ said...

To be fair Kolp, I've always been crude

DJ's social worker said...

Don't listen to wee DJ, Ben, the poor sap was abused as a child and still wets the bed.

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