Popular Farnsfield pizzeria bidding for permanent takeaway sales
A popular pizzeria in Farnsfield has requested permission to permanently offer a takeaway service alongside its dine-in option once Covid rules come to an end in March.
The Rustic Crust, on Main Street, opened its doors to customers for the first time just 10 days before the initial lockdown in March 2020.
Initial planning permission for the business approved the site’s conversion into a restaurant, café and bar, but prevented the pizzeria from offering takeaway service to its customers.
Concerns were raised over potential parking and traffic issues that could arise from the business permanently offering a takeaway service, with the restaurant located in a tight residential part of the village.
However, with various lockdowns preventing customers from dining in at the business, Government guidance allowed the pizzeria to operate takeaway service ‘in order to sustain local businesses and the economy’.
During this time, The Rustic Crust had an app developed to allow customers to view the full menu online, order their food and pay securely by card.
Customers were given a timeslot to collect their food from the Main Street site, with spread-out timeslots ensuring ‘the restaurant doesn’t become overcrowded’ and no traffic congestion is caused in the village.
Documents state pandemic collection times were limited to between 4.30pm and 8.30pm, Wednesday to Saturday, with the business taking an average of 10 orders a night.
Rules allowing this to take place are active until March 2022, temporarily overriding any planning restrictions imposed on the business.
Now the pizzeria is looking to make this change permanent and has applied to Newark & Sherwood Council to remove the no-takeaway condition from its planning permission.
Documents state there is ‘local demand’ from customers for the continued takeaway option, with the business expecting this form of sales to make up less than 10 per cent of its monthly sales moving forward.
At present, the restaurant is currently only open between Wednesday and Saturday but, due to peak restaurant trading taking place on Fridays and Saturdays, takeaways are mainly used on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Continuing to offer takeaway beyond March 2022, the application states, will allow it to continue to trade and operate on quieter days.
And the business states collection would continue to use the pre-booking system.
The council’s planning committee will debate whether to remove the no-takeaway condition when it meets on January 18.
However, the report reveals concerns have been raised by Farnsfield Parish Council over traffic and parking, with fears takeaway service could ‘adversely impact on the availability of car parking for residents in the village’.
Concerns were also raised about ‘inconsiderate parking’ and the risk of additional traffic coming into the village.
Nottinghamshire Council’s highways department has also raised similar concerns, alongside one similar objection from a resident.
But the pizzeria’s application states customers will be encouraged to park in local public car parks ‘to minimise on-street parking and disturbance’.
The application also received two letters of support from residents, with the business described as a ‘very good family dining service for the village’.
And the Newark & Sherwood Council’s planning department believes the application ‘would not unduly impact the amenity of local residents, nor comprise the safety of the highway network’.
Councillors have been recommended to approve the request at next week’s meeting.