A vegan fast food chain has been prevented from opening a new restaurant on Wellfield Road in Cardiff.
Oowee Vegan already operates in Bristol, Brighton and London and planned to open its first restaurant in Wales.
The chain has applied for a building permit from Cardiff Council to open 49 Wellfield Road, currently occupied by the Danish store Flying Tiger.
But the council’s planning committee refused permission to change use on Wednesday, May 19, due to rules protecting Wellfield Road as a shopping center.
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Council policy states that some shopping centers, such as Wellfield Road, should have a number of stores and not too many restaurants, bars, cafes or take out.
Residents of Bangor Street, off Wellfield Road, have complained about the changing nature of the street. Especially since Wellfield Road was made one-way for car traffic, some residents have complained that Bangor Street is now being used as a “rat run” instead.
They asked the planning committee to deny permission to change use, citing concerns about noise, crime, litter and anti-social behavior caused by patrons of bars, restaurants and evening take-out. .
Jinny Jones, a planning officer, spoke on behalf of the residents of Bangor Street to the committee.
She told advisers the vegan fast food restaurant would cause “unacceptable damage to the center’s predominantly commercial role and character, as well as to the vitality, viability and attractiveness of Wellfield Road”.
She said: “It is important that the critical mass of business units is maintained.”
No one from Oowee Vegan attended the committee meeting to discuss the app.
The chain offers an all-vegan menu with foods such as Beyond Meat burgers and fries loaded with vegan gravy and mozzarella. The restaurant would have created 20 jobs, according to planning documents, and would have remained open until 11 p.m.
The planning committee voted unanimously to deny permission. Business planning rules are divided into certain categories: A1 means shops while A3 means restaurants and cafes. The council’s local development plan states that a number of properties in shopping malls must be A1.
Councilor Peter Wong said: “It is the global scale of the number of A3s on Wellfield Road that has an impact on local amenities.”