Domino's responds to Honor Oak expansion debate

We recently reported on the plansby Domino’s Pizza to open at Honor Oak, in what used to be the Old Bank. Domino’s picked up on the tweets about it and contacted us to say that they would be happy to answer questions about the issue. So we asked them three questions, based on the conversation that had taken place on the site. Here are their answers:

Can you provide any details of how you propose to change the exterior of the building, which is quite handsome? The petition against the plans has included a mock-up of how it could look – how accurate is it?

We have attached a mock up of the signage – although we are just reviewing it at the moment and as you are probably aware, we’ve withdrawn the signage application while we do so. We hope you’ll agree is better looking than the mock up that has appeared on the petition.

It is in our best interest to make sure the site is attractive on the eye – but obviously we do need to get stand out from the rest of the parade to ensure people know we are there. We’re just trying to get some photos of others sites where we’ve been sympathetic to the building – when we do we’ll send them over so readers can see what can be done.

Why have you chosen this this site? Why not another site, that doesn't require change of permission and which doesn't mean the loss of a restaurant space to the high street? Why can't a takeaway service that presumably relies on phone and internet orders rather than walk-in trade be located somewhere less prominent?

We have been looking for a site in this area for some time now – and sites are hard to come by. As we normally need to get change of use to A5 planning class (which is what a branch of Domino’s falls under), we do look for former restaurants or pubs as these tend to be easier to get. In addition, we do get a fair bit of carry out business – fuelled by some very competitive deals for carry out customers. We have redesigned our store layouts too recently to make the carry out area a really pleasant place to be, including a step for children so they can see how the pizzas are freshly made to order.

Why are you looking to expand in to this area at this time?

We know that Honor Oak is a good area for us and while we do already cover part of the trading area from existing shops, it will allow us to provide a much better service to the local community with quicker delivery times.

Splitting areas is a regular occurrence in Domino’s as we build our customer base and continue to expand. In addition we are delighted to be bringing new jobs to the area as each store employs around 30 pizza makers, customer service representatives and drivers.

We noticed some comment on Brockley Central about Tom Monaghan, the founder of Domino’s in the US. It is worth clarifying that we are a wholly-owned UK company (Domino’s Pizza UK and Ireland PLC). Tom has got his own views and they don't reflect ours. He parted company with Domino’s over 12 years ago in the US. 


UPDATE: In response to comments below regarding the lack of sensitivity towards an historic building, Domino's added:


We are willing to listen to concerns about being sympathetic to the building and we can certainly work with planners to come up with signage that will not detract from the building’s current look. We do already have a number of shops in listed buildings and in conservation areas and we are listening to the residents’ concerns both on here and via Twitter.


Here is a photo of the protest that took place last night.

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a shame, this is a shocker!!

Anonymous said...

"obviously we want to stand out from the parade so peole know we are there"

why should they stand out from the parade more than anyone else?

they want to be encouraging a healthy parade where eveyones signage is level pegging ...that way the street becomes a desination...and more people come ...trade improves etc....business is good...a more varied street popular for all

Anonymous said...

have they bought the building

or signed a lease

or just hoping to sign a lease (if they get pp)


???

Silvio Berlusconi said...

they still churn out rubbish pizzas regardless of what the building looks like

patrick1971 said...

Why do they need such a large site? Is there going to be sit in as well?

Bemmy2 said...

Dominos, as you are clearly watching this blog, the majority of Honor Oak residents do NOT want you guys in this building. There was a rally held outside the site last night where people brought banners and placards. A local councillor came down to show her support, and photographs were taken by the local press. 200+ letters objecting to the planning have already been sent to Lewisham council, and an online petition has picked up nearly 500 signatures. We welcome Dominos to SE23, but please don’t occupy the finest building on our parade and ruin 120 years of history with your corporate signage.

Anonymous said...

That's progress as Jello Biafra would say.

Anonymous said...

few more chicken shops and a tesco and everything will be perfect.

Ambivalent said...

What is the objection? Signage, this particular brand of pizza, pizzas in general, food? Signage can be toned right down if thats the only objection. Presumably many injectors would be ok with a restaurant. If it became the third in the excellent le querce chain would there be outrage?

I don't say this as a supporter but the arguments are built on sand. People scoff these by the ton, I know I did in my younger days, replacing a sit down restaurant with a pizza chain is not exactly seismic.

Fuss? said...

what wrong with them?

Anonymous said...

Going by the protest photo I can't resist asking do only white people live in Honor Oak?

Squawk Box said...

Domino's pizza is bland gunk. I'd rather eat Brackley chicken!

Ambivalent said...

Bland? Yes. Would I buy it? No. Grounds for objecting? No. Politics is the art of the possible, it won't be stopped because some people don't like the product. Simple, don't buy it. You MAY be able to influence the signage, that's your lot.

Timmy2wheels said...

Ugh, rankoid pizzas and a blot on the landscape. Please won't an aspiring restaurateur step in and save us from this?

Anonymous said...

For me it is about retaining the independent character of the highstreet, supporting the existing shops that will struggle to keep going (there is a small pizza takeaway only a few doors down) and - as a resident of one of the side streets off the high street - the increase in noise resulting from the Dominos scooters. It will not attract more people to the area - i would imagine the majority of sales are for takeaways rather than collection - and it would be a shame to have such a great location used for this. I worry that if they are successful then it will be the catalyst for other chains to follow suit, resulting in a low end, homogenised highstreet, rather than the eclectic, supportive community feel that we currently have.

Simon said...

I think this site would be perfect for a Pizza Express.
They always design their restaurants well and are sympathetic to the building they are housed in.
I have always enjoyed their pizza far more than Domino's and I thiink they would be a far better fit for the area.
Brockley, Ladywell and Honor Oak have yet to get a Pizza Express-I'm sure they would be packed if they moved into the area.

oryx said...

anon @ 16.50 - it's a bit of a non sequitur to raise race in a discussion about a planning application for a pizza takeaway, but if you must, look at the pictures on se23.com.

I have objected to this and my main objections are that a building of this type is much better suited to a sit-down restaurant or bar rather than a takeaway. There will also be issues about noise from delivery vehicles and about the poaching of trade from existing takeaways in the parade, who (as far as I'm aware) have been there ages and don't cause any problems.

Anonymous said...

A Pizza Express or Zizzis type restaurant would complement the building and continue to provide a place for a sit down meal.

A garish sign, cheapo pizza takeaways and a fleet of suicidal mopeds outside is a step backwards.

The site is too prominent and a waste of a fine building. Such a business would devalue the area by removing a site that could house a business that could provide a social focus for the area.

It sounds as if the main reason is to take advantage of the classification of the building for planning purposes.

There are plenty of takeaways already and not enough places that provide a sit down meal.

Anonymous said...

"A Pizza Express or Zizzis type restaurant would complement the building"

so the objection now is on even shakier ground. Simply after a better pizza from a big chain.

Sorry, the objections are a waste of oxygen if menu and whether or not it's delivered by bike is the only criteria.

Anonymous said...

You might be happy to live a dormitory existence in a small flat, subsisting off cheap takeaways. The area has an abundance of businesses selling mediocre comfort food, so you are well catered for.

However, there are plenty who would prefer somewhere to socialise with friends. Somewhere to sit down and enjoy a meal.

There are not enough such businesses in the area and they should be encouraged.

That is what the building was used for by previous tenants and it would nice to have the same again.

An established chain that treats the building sympathetically would be ideal.

Turning the place into a downmarket takeway does the community no favours at all and people are understandably unsympathetic.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who thinks the "new" signage basically looks like an artistic impression of the petition mock up? awful.

oryx said...

anon @ 21.21 - no, you're not!

Anonymous said...

Dominos, the minority of people posting to this blog don't want you. I am not sure that the majority, despite what the minority here feel, care one way or the other.

You have bought the site, if you think there is a commercial business to be run here, go for it. Just make sure that the shop front looks nice and is in keeping with the area - as you say, you have shops in historic areas, so you can surely do this? Probably better than some of the other shopkeepers who don't have the money to spend on their shopfronts.

za said...

As long as they have loads of deals and good offers people will be queuing out the door/on the phone...

Anonymous said...

It still says "to let" outside...can anyone confirm that they have bought the place/ definitely have the lease?

Pea said...

Dear Ambivalent, to me the argument is that we are unusual and lucky to have a high street that is almost exclusively made up of hard working local businesses. I have lived in HOP for 5 years now and like many others I have taken the opportunity to try out their stuff and have enjoyed getting to know the owners. I have watched "old" businesses such as Barbaros, Barbur, Honor Oak Fish and Chips, FS2 and Jumping Bean go from strength to strength and the new such as Neroli, Le Querce and The Honor Oak pub find their niche and prosper. They do well despite not having huge marketing and shop fit budgets because they have a great product, they know their customers, they know what they are doing, constantly improve and they work really hard. They also offer remarkable value for money, they just don't call it family bargain bucket super deal and stick it on the telly every five minutes. If, when I first moved to the area there had been a bunch of chains I already knew, I probably would have been lazy and just gone to them - I wouldn't have had the same experiences and life in the HOP would not be so lovely. What we have is special, I can't think of another area of London like it. I'm not saying people can't eat pizza burgers and fried chicken if they want and there are plenty of places they can do that. It just feels like one massive chain in such an important location right as you leave the station will lead to more, and before we know it the local businesses will be gone.

Ambivalent said...

"You might be happy to live a dormitory existence etc....."

Anon, what you have rather clumsily revealed is snobbery. You're not objecting to a chain, you're offended that it's a chain selling food that you feel is beneath you and even if you don't eat it, the very fact that your neighbours may will affect you. It's as if their lack of class (according to your rather sneering definition) is contagious.

Im not going to lower myself to your silly competition in lifestyle, it's obvious that your one of those why buy "Taste The Difference" and feel a sense of superiority for those buying standard, low cost produce.

Get over yourself, you live in Forrest hill not Belgravia. The barbarians are not at the gates, it's a pizza place much the same, dare I say better? Than the several pizza places in the area.

Anonymous said...

Nope, that is not snobbery.

It is the concern for appearance and character of the shops in the neighbourhood and an appreciation of the community focus they provide.

It comes from having a long term interest in the area in which you live.

Now I quite appreciate that there are people who have little interest in the local area. Simply use it to sleep, commute to work and devour the odd takeaway on the way home. That is their choice.

I am saying that this latter group are already well provided for by cheap and tacky takeaway franchises and it is fair that this prominent site does not go the same way.

Domino's seems only interested in the planning status of the property and taking advantage of the footfall of city workers as they stumble from the station. It will be a blemish on this fine shopping parade and waste a location that would be ideal for a sit down restaurant.

Ambivalent said...

Your post just underlines my point. Ive not had a takeaway piza for years, let alone a Dominos. Im not so arrogant as to force my tastes on to my neighbours, we live in one of the poorest broughs in the country, some can't afford to sit down, hell, some just want a pizza delivered.

I'd actually rather it didn't open but I'd rather it did then remained empty. Closed shops do nothing to for a high street. It's all rather irrelevant though, planning law is not based on dislike of chain store pizzas, whether that chain is pizza express or Dominos.

Gabriella said...

well said Pea, I couldn't agree more!

Simon said...

I personally don't have a problem with Domino's. They serve their purpose in the competitive pizza market place and they are a well run successful chain.
My concern is that Domino's could and should find a more appropriate unit rather than take up one of the few sites fit for purpose as a restaurant in HOP. The building in question is genuinely attractive from the outside and perfect for a restaurant due to the frontage and square footage.
My understanding is that the lease is relatively cheap by restaurant standards and I feel that this is the main reason Domino's are interested in this site.
When have you known Domino's take such an attractive site when almost any unit-for which they can get the appropriate planning-will normally suffice.?
Domino's wouldn't go for this site if the lease was more expensive as they don't really need the kind of square footage or such an attractive building.
I have never seen Domino's take up a site such as this and as their core business relies on delivery rather than footfall, I don't think that taking the site in question is an absolute necessity for them.
I feel that Domino's are being opportunistic here (sorry thatt's business I'm afraid). They are taking advantage of the cheap rent and ease of planning where in other areas they wouldn't even consider a site such as this due to cost. They may get a little bit more walk-in trade but none more so than if they took a unit further along the parade.
I can also see this from the Landlords point of view. Being a Landlord myself, I know they will be interested in the covenant of any business wanting to lease their building. Domino's will offer far more security to the Landlord than almost any other start-up independent business and they will be attractive to the Landlord for that reason alone.

Anonymous said...

The is such bad news. I was looking forward to Heston Blumenthal opening his latest venture here!

Pea said...

This isn't about snobbery, the community is served best by a diverse range of shops and eateries that cater to all needs, incomes and tastes. Personally I don't really want Pizza Express or Zizzi there any more than Dominos, but I don't suppose there is a lot the planning people can do about that given the premises are already designated as a restaurant. What we are missing by the way, is a Thai restaurant, a cosy bistro and a grocery store that sells fresh fruit, veg and meat that you can make a decent meal out of - and I would actually support a change of use for that as it would provide something the place desperately needs and stop us all having to shlep to Forest Hill on the bus. I'd like to hope that a local business could step up to do it - but if Tescos are the only ones with the supply chain and logistical expertise, let them. I strongly doubt that the area can support three pizza takeaway places within sight of each other and predict that if Dominos opens at least one of these will go to the wall and we will be left with another empty unit, this time with a kitchen at the back, a counter in the middle and some chairs at the front - oh wait, it's perfect for a takeaway place! People of all income brackets enjoy slobbing on the sofa with a pizza in their lap every once in a while but I don't see a queue out the door in either of the current pizza takeways to suggest there is a massive untapped market just waiting to surge forth and prop of three flipping places! Superpizza sells pizzas that are just as nice as Dominos and just as cheap - try it if you don't believe me!

Pea said...

By the way - I would also love to see Mr. Laurence open a second place at the old bank site - Crofton Park is so far to walk. I know it is nominally a "wine bar" and not a restaurant but they do do food too and I'd love to sneak in for a delicious bowl of cassoulet on a rainy cold evening after a disgusting train ride home...

Ambivalent said...

So a Tesco instead of a Dominos? So it's not snobbery, it can't be homogenisation of the high street if you accept the dominant supermarket chain at that site. You think there are enough pizza places selling the type and price bracket of Dominos offerig? Well looks like your objection is not actually that strong, people will decide which pizza they prefer to buy. Wonder what the other independent cheap pizza places pay their staff? You know, those stalwarts of the Communty.

I repeat, I'd rather something else opened there but the objections "big chain bad, big chain kill the little shops, big chain rip us off" are just naive and jumping on a fashionable bandwagon. Shops compete for our custom, all shops do. Actually Dominos are not super cheap so the cheap ones keep their niche.

Pea said...

The local business community have serially failed to provide a grocery store selling fruit, vegetables, meat and other perishable food stuffs beyond milk and the odd banana, presumably because it is just too difficult for a small guy to set up the necessary numerous supplier relations and manage the stock turn at a competitive price. For this reason I would support a large multiple having a go - and this proves that I am actually not jumping on a fashionable band waggon nor am I anti competition - if the small businesses fail us then competition from the big guys can and should step in! However, the pizza takeaway market has been amply and well provided for in HOP - there is no need for more. Sure we can let people decide, but I am convinced there is simply not enough market for three businesses to share and would rather see 1 or 2 thrive than 3 struggle - ultimately to the detriment of our high street when they close down 6 months later.

I don't think big business is necessarily bad - I just think that small business should be given a chance and can do things big business can't. I have worked in fashion retail all my life for companies of all sizes from global multiples to VC start ups, and I can tell you that advertising is amazingly expensive and you need high margins to be able to afford it. Hence, you work to a price point your customer can bear and squeeze the cost down as much as you can. I cannot believe sometimes how much 1 page in a magazine costs, and dread to think how much dominos annually spend on marketing. If you go into one of our fantastic local businesses such as FS2 on Brockley Rise (which has been successfully trading for 20 years and is staffed by the owner and his son by the way), put 4 pounds down on the counter, TASTE the delicious and healthy meal you get back compared to McDonalds/Dominos/whatever you will notice that much more of your buck goes on the INGREDIENTS and not on advertising as they rely on reputation and word of mouth to market their products - which is FREE. It's harder work initially for us customers, as we have to search out the good places and it's always comforting to know what you're getting when you hand over your hard earned cash as I am sure we all do in Dominos - but I would argue, more rewarding and often healthier.

Anonymous said...

Jamie Oliver has a fantastic pizza dough recipe. You make 10, layer them in foil, freeze them. Defrost when needed add a super easy to make tomato sauce; Tomatoes, puree, onions, garlic, olive oil in the food processor whizz, then boil, spread onto base add cheese of your choice and garnishes; basil, parma ham, mushrooms etc.

To get the crisp base invest in a pizza stone - around £20 from amazon but can be £10.

Home economics

Andy said...

People keep saying they want a small independent restaurant to open up instead, or a "classier" chain. I'd imagine the reason Domino's are looking at this site which is less than ideal for them is because none have been forthcoming making the rent cheap, especially as the last place went bust.

If the bigger "classy" chains don't want to open that shows a perceived lack of demand for them in HOP. Further, there may not be any budding restaurant owners who are aiming at HOP, when there are potentially larger markets nearby.

There is all this petitioning to stop Domino's but it will come to nothing unless a viable business can step in its place. As there are nearly 500 signature and apparently 200+ people feel strongly enough to write letters according to Bemmy2 maybe they could each throw a couple of hundred quid in to start up their own restaurant there...

Or is it a case of slacktivist nimbys who don't want that horrible common chain because they deserve to have a better class of commercial unit near them?

Pea said...

The Old Bank restaurant failed because it overlapped too much with the offer of Le Querce but wasn't as good in terms of food, service or value for money, plus the bizarre strategy of doing the cooking right there in the restaurant so you got smoke in your eyes while they cooked. There are successful shops and restaurants at ALL price points in the area, for sure people don't want to over pay, who does, but I know LOTS of people in the area who are higher earners and really quite rich - and whether you like it or not they are residents too who want to spend money on our high street. (How dare they?) Barbur is "upmarket" and is packed every single night, with both affluent residents and the not so affluent treating themselves for a special occasion! Anon, are you living under a rock? It is common knowledge when you speak to business owners on HOP that the landlords are raising rents by a huge amount on HOP year on year - because they feel they can. This doom and gloom that our businesses cannot make money when so many of them have been successful for literally years and only a big chain will be able to is simply unfounded - although sadly in a capitalist society of course the real winners are the landlords... but that's another argument...

Brockley Nick said...

@Andy- the whole "it's been tried before and didn't work" argument used to be made about Brockley restaurants too. Then some good ones came along and have been full ever since. The Old Bank was by all accounts not very good. That is probably the main factor behind its failure.

For me, there is one simple argument here - this building is designated as a restaurant and should stay that way unless there is a very good reason to change it. Restaurant space is in short supply in this area and restaurants help to attract people to the high street, creating successful high street communities. By contrast, takeaways encourage people to stay in their homes. Dominos should be told to find somewhere else nearby, but once they have, they should be left alone to get on with running a perfectly legitimate business.

Anonymous said...

Honor Oak Park has frequently been described as the new East Dulwich Domino's arrival will stand for a giant step in the wrong direction.

As someone about to move to the area I'm pretty horrified that the eclectic independant high street will now be dominated by a cheap generic chain, especially given previous posters comments that the size of the building is comletely inappropriate for a takeaway.

Equally concerning is the prospect of pizza moped hell..

Seriously disappointed and would rather the building stayed empty unit a suitable occupant took it on.

Westsider said...

"Honor Oak Park has frequently been described as the new East Dulwich"

No it hasn't. Not by anyone with any common sense.

ha said...

'Honor Oak Park has frequently been described as the new East Dulwich'

By the estate agent that sold you your new abode perchance?

Tamsin said...

Not very friendly or welcoming...

With or without a Dominos it is a nice bit of London with easy access to stunning views from One Tree Hill and Blythe Hill Fields and good solid Victorian/Edwardian housing.

Plus a nice picture gallery and a paint-your-own pottery place. There's also a rare colony of sparrows by the station (or it was there a couple of years ago).

D said...

If this leads to an influx of low-quality, big-business takeaways, would that be a Domino effect?

Brockley Nick said...

@D - is this all chess a game to you? Honor Oak may have a checkered past, but many people consider this a ludocrous idea. Connect four or more of these places across south east london and they will have a virtual monopoly. Then what happens to Honor Oak's hopes of becoming the new East Dulwich? KerPlunk!

Tressilliana said...

Hopscotch has already arrived in SE23...

Crofton Cath said...

The site is ideal for a pizza restaurant not another junk food takeaway. How do I sign this petition?

Having an attractive row of independent shops, restaurants and businesses is good for everyone in the area. Having yet another junk food takeaway is not.

Go away Dominoes!

ambivalent said...

kind of splitting hairs. Posh pizza sat at a table or pizza delivered by bike. Not my choice of tennant but again, what grounds are there for an objection? unless the 'no's' can find a credible argument it will go ahead.

Brockley Nick said...

@Ambivalent - I agree with some of your points, but it is not splitting hairs to say that there is a difference between a takeaway and a restaurant. If you don't acknowledge that, then we can't have a sensible discussion.

Crofton Cath said...

The grounds are it's designated as a restaurant not a takeaway. And there is a difference. One brings people out in to the area to spend their money and browse other businesses - the other means a fleet of mopeds. I know what I prefer.

Brockley Jon said...

Just read this, via @TheNextWebuk, Domino's demonstrates the importance of mobile commerce as orders top £130,000 in one day.

Unbelievable figure! That's £130k's worth of people sat looking at their phone screens rather than going down their local high street and interacting with the shops and people there.

Pea said...

My own personal favourite estate agent description of the Oak is "The Dulwich Boarders" - hilarious!

HOP doesn't need to try to be the new East Dulwich , the new Belgravia or the new anything for that matter - it has it's own unique charm. We have a community that gets on surprisingly well together compared to other London locations, a diverse range of local shops, restaurants and (lots of) takeaways (already) that provide genuinely good stuff and services, relatively low crime and all the employment opportunities that come with being part of our capital city - anyone who reckons we are hard done by wants to try living where I grew up where heroin addicts now regularly shoot up in people's gardens and consequently you can buy a Victorian 3 bed semi for 30k! People want to move to and live in HOP, because it's nice. Everyone who has said that a restaurant draws people to the high street whereas a home delivery service doesn't is perfectly right - and it's the mingling of people from all walks of life that makes our area lovely. Appreciate and fight for what you've got people - before it's gone!

Pea said...

Whoops! That should be Dulwich BORDERS - not a South East London based surfing group...

squirrel said...

Why can't they use one of the other premises on the parade that are currently standing empty? Come on restauranteurs and pub landlords - make a rival bid and we'll support you!

Anonymous said...

Bushey High Street didn't want them either, and they won! http://www.watfordobserver.co.uk/news/4168960.Domino_s_Pizza_appeals_against_Bushey_High_Street_decison/

What we need are more retail based establishments to help out the news agents, Neroli, Jumping Bean, the florist etc., not a noisy, polluting all day take away - yes, remember the retaurant was only open for dinner and Sunday lunch!

Write to Lewisham planning: Application nmiumber,DC/11/78332/X
planning@lewisham.gov.uk, write to your Councillors: Jackie Addison cllr_jackie.addison@lewisham.gov.uk, John Bowen cllr_john.bowen@lewisham.gov.uk, and Pauline Morrison cllr_pauline.morrison@lewisham.gov.uk

Lou Baker said...

It is immense snobbery to turn your nose up at Dominos.

Fact: the economy is tanking and won't get better any time soon.

Fact: you do not have huge numbers of businesses desperate to move in.

Fact: Dominos are offering jobs and a service which some residents will find useful.

Fact: Honor Oak residents - who dream of restaurant serving organically sourced osterich - are pretentious above their status. They'd fit right in with the Dulwich set but can't afford it. Delusional.

Fact: Honor Oak is still mostly a dump - like most of this area. Dominos fits right in.

oryx said...

Fact: what's 'delusional', Lou, is you presenting the last two (somewhat dodgy) opinions of yours as 'facts'........

Anonymous said...

Takeaway pizzas are part of our lives. There is nothing wrong with them. There may be enough of them around but there are more than enough restaurants as well.
And the fact that Dominos want the space and restaurant owners don't suggests that the demand for takeaway pizzas is more the demand for another restaurant, despite what the NIMBYs say.

I can afford to share a pizza in my house with friends. I can't afford to go to a restaurant with them. So why should my choices be limited in preference to those rich people who can afford to eat out?

I've nothing against Dominos coming here.

Pea said...

Strikes me, Lou Baker, that "Honor Oak is still mostly a dump" is perhaps the snobbiest comment yet made on this discussion board! "Above their status" indeed! Heaven forbid the Great British class system should be overturned and the great unwashed step outside their designated roles. They'll be eating wholemeal bread next and watching Jamie Oliver on the telly!

I've lived in many places in London, and HOP is the nicest because of the folk that live here. Some of them are rich and some of them are poor, but they are all part of a community unlike many supposedly posh areas of London where the poorer ones live largely in near ghettos. I really believe that the credit for this goes to our mixed and diverse high street - surely the planning laws are meant to preserve this.

No one wants to stop anyone having a nice pizza at home with friends, but surely it's not a struggle to do that right now, with all of the choices available?

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