The owner of a pie shop has been left ‘shocked’ after being refused permission to create a drive-thru and outdoor seating space.

Upex pies in North Ormesby had applied for planning permission to create a drive-thru area as Covid had created a drop in sales and the company claims that people were reluctant to enter the site to buy pies during the pandemic.

Upex Pies owner Steve Davies added: “The reason I did it initially was because of Covid, so the drive-thru would mean people not coming into the shop so there was less physical interaction and it would make it more efficient.”

In the planning application, Upex Pies said that the plans would require minimal changes, including a small window added to the side of the unit to act as a serving hatch with a menu next to this.

There would also be a concrete road added onsite to access the serving hatch and signs would be installed at the gates to tell people where to go.

The pie makers would also add a small outdoor seating area for customers who wanted to eat their pies at the site.

However, the council has refused permission for the plans to go ahead.

It said that the proposed use as a hot food takeaway is not suitable for the industrial area as council policy advises that they should not be permitted outside of the centre.

Businesses who wish to open drive-thru facilities are required to submit a sequential test, which compares the site you are proposing to develop with other available sites, but Upex Pies did not do this as part of the application.

The council put these policies in place to try and keep certain services in the centre.

In the initial application, which was submitted on December 4 2020, Upex Pies claimed that this new site would not have an adverse impact on the town centre.

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The pie business was also refused permission due to a number of concerns from the council about the drive-thru facility causing congestion and potential accidents.

It stated that if the drive-thru was busy cars would queue along Carcut Road and Brewsdale Road, which could block the parking for other properties on Carcut Road.

Furthermore, the exit is at a spot where vehicles use the turning head which could cause incidents between customers leaving and vehicles turning or lorries accessing nearby units.

Also, a large number of HGVs use this area and the council is concerned that this venture would impact the safety of their work.

Mr Davies added: “I am shocked that we did get knocked back because the most cars that will be here will be three or four at once, it’s a steady flow throughout the day, there is never an influx of 20 cars or anything.

“The three or four cars would be in the compound, not on the road.”

The pie-maker also said that he had suggested a temporary licence, however, he has not been granted that either.

There were also concerns from planning officers that people would be walking on the drive-thru road as the outdoor seating was situated away from the entrance.

Upex Pies will have 12 weeks to appeal the planning decision.

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