An e-petition in favour of Wagamama’s proposed restaurant in Reigate gained more than 800 signatures over the weekend.
The petition, started by a Reigate resident on Saturday 9 April, reads:
“Wagamama has been refused permission to open in Reigate. The council rejected the change of use from retail to restaurant on the huge old site of Edward Dean at 33 Bell Street. Sign here if you would like a Wagamama in Reigate and support the decision. We are flooded with Italian restaurants, Wagamama would bring footfall to the town and offer an alternative.”
Reigate & Banstead Borough Council’s planning committee turned down the change of use application last week by 10 votes to 5. The decision was based on local planning policy, which calls for main shopping areas to have 80% retail frontage: that section of Bell Street is already down to 75%. The committee heard that no information had been provided on attempts to first market the site to retailers. Councillors were also reminded that any change of use approval would be for a restaurant generally rather than Wagamama specifically.
Besides the number of people who have backed the petition, the majority of comment on social media appears to favour Wagamama’s proposal.
As regards business opinion, Philippa Ratcliffe, Chair of Reigate Business Guild, said last week of the planning committee decision:
“I am sure there will be mixed responses from our members, many of whom would have appreciated a chain restaurant on that site to draw footfall to that end of town but equally there were members who aired concern at the potential loss of retail space.”
Civic group the Reigate Society was among those who objected to the proposed change of use.
Reigate.uk has yet to obtain Wagamama’s reaction to the council’s decision.
Our previous article on the decision
Watch the debate on the council’s webcasting page (after a few seconds that link will start at the correct time, and the papers can also be viewed there).
The application itself: 15/02290/CUShare this: