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Canterbury residents defeat Greggs after fury over ’24-hour’ plans | UK | News


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Locals in a pretty little UK city have celebrated after Greggs withdrew its plans to open a 24-hour store after residents became outraged at the plans.

The popular bakery chain had proposed a new site in the centre of Canterbury that would be open around the clock, but locals in the famous city feared it would become an epicentre of crime.

The about-turn by Greggs is a victory for residents after the nearby McDonald’s also became a 24-hour outlet. KentOnline was told that the idea of a 24-hour Greggs was “intimidating”.

Local Labour councillor Pip Hazelton explained that a history of anti-social behaviour had been one of his main concerns. She said: “I was opposed to the application when it came forward.

“I suppose my concern is up the top end of St George’s Street there’s been a history of anti-social behaviour, of groups gathering and those kinds of things. The litter, the noise, even relatively small groups of people hanging about – that can be intimidating for other people.”

Ms Hazelton also believed that a 24-hour fast food restaurant was not good for the city and that “the balance of what is available currently is sufficient” for Greggs.

Despite Gregg’s defeat, some residents believed it would have benefitted the city. Amanda Skinner said it would be great if Canterbury became a “bit more of a 24-hour city”.

Following the defeat, a spokesperson for the local council said it “would not be appropriate for us to speak on the company’s behalf” as to why the application was withdrawn.

In a subsequent statement, a spokesperson for Greggs added: “We continue to look at opportunities to extend the opening hours of our shops. Customers can enjoy our full range of great value and fantastic quality products from our shop at St George’s Street, Canterbury, from 6am through to 8.30pm.”

This isn’t the first time Greggs has triggered concerns about crime. Last year, the chain tried to extend the opening hours of its Leicester Square branch. While they eventually won the right to extend the opening hours, the Metropolitan Police warned: “It is our belief that if granted, the application could undermine the licensing objectives in relation to the prevention of crime and disorder.”

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