Kebab chain says Brentwood high street is ‘depressed’

A fast food chain which sells “gourmet” doner kebabs has described Brentwood’s high street as “depressed” as it bids to open a restaurant on the high street.

German Doner Kebab say as many as 30 jobs could be created in the town, where it plans to open the new premises on the side of a former hairdressers on the corner of Moores Place and Brentwood High Street.

The fast growing chain already has more than 100 restaurants in the UK including a new one in Chelmsford.

But in a planning statement submitted to Brentwood Borough Council, the company highlighted the high street’s “depressed appearance with no unifying style” and said it doesn’t match with the “evident prosperity” in nearby areas.

The report said: “The high street has a strongly developed retail function. Much of it has been redeveloped since the Second World War, with the result that the town retains little sense of its origins as a medieval market town or of a major coaching place in Georgian times.

“Indifferent maintenance and signage give the high street a rather depressed appearance with no unifying style, which contrasts with the evident prosperity of the surrounding area.”

The company is using new planning regulations which came into effect in November 2020 to open a restaurant without formal planning permission.

The company says the highest ‘very high’ level of odour mitigation will be provided to filter out smells.

A statement as part of a planning application for new signage, which does require formal permission, said: “Overall, the proposed development facilitates the long-term viable use of these commercial premises which will also create approximately 30 new jobs on the high street at a time when many retail jobs are being lost and the economy is under significant recessionary pressure.

“The subject proposal constitutes good design which does not harm amenity in compliance with the adopted development plan and national panning policy framework.”

Brentwood Borough Council has shifted its energy to breathing new life into the high street by redeveloping the Baytree Centre which it bought for £11million.

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter