SHOPPERS in Brackley were unanimous in their refusal to give the thumbs up to proposals for a new Domino’s Pizza franchise in the high street.
Despite the possibility new jobs and hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of investment, people said it would not increase variety on the high street, would damage the market town character, and one expressed fears about a global giant quenching local enterprise. This week South Northants Council received a planning application for the change of use of 22 High Street. The property is occupied by the Bengal Dynasty Indian restaurant, but a hand written sign currently in the window thanks customers for their patience while a major refurbishment takes place.
Paul Barnes, 40, an aircraft technician from Westbury said: “I don’t think we need it. There are empty properties like the bakery, why don’t they invest in that? It’s all the big boys pushing out and the independents out.” Mr Barnes said people were beginning to value a personal customer service and added: “There does need to be investment in Brackley high street, it does look rather tired, but just not Domino’s.”
School teacher Sarah Messer, 35 from Pavillons Way said a pizza takeaway was not what was needed and added: “There used to be Thai restaurant there which we did use, but there’s so many Indian takeaways in Brackley. There’s already a pizza place opposite. But perhaps having a well know chain will go down well.”
32-year-old freelance media lecturer, Simon Claydon of Manor Road said: “We don’t need it. I think its a problem that these big corporations can come to smaller towns and, although on the surface of it people might think it is good, it isn’t. Chains like Costa, Subaway and Domino’s take away from the local businesses community.” Mr Claydon said in other parts of Europe a greater importance given to local businesses allows small communities to sustain businesses like local bakeries. Elisabeth Cooper, a 52-year-old house wife from St Peters Park said: “I just think Brackley needs to have its own character. We don’t want it to be like every other market town high street. It will be a shame, the town will lose some of its personality.”
Sandra Capon, a 50-year-old kitchen worker from Beech Drive said: “I’m not saying I don’t like pizza, but there’s too much of that already around Brackley. It will be difficult of the takeaway opposite.”
49-year-old Dave Gadbury, a senior salesman from Bridgewater Court said: “I would not personally have a Domino’s up there. There is so many food places around here already. I don’t know what I would put up there, but there are so many places boarded up. Brackley is really now just coffee shops and hair dressers, You can’t really advertiser it as anything else.”