Thousands of people have made last minute objections to plans to open a Burger King restaurant in a disused building in Brighton’s Lanes.
Daryl Stutchbury, former franchisee of the fast food’s Aquarium Terraces branch, has applied to install air conditioning units, fridges and freezers on the ground floor of the Clarenden Mansions, formerly the Mariner Pub and which he says has been used as a squat and a drug den since it closed two years ago.
Just four hours after a petition was started by Brighton resident Liam Hardy this afternoon, almost 3,000 people have signed.
But the reasons it gives for opposing the plans – the homogenisation of The Lanes – are unlikely to be considered valid planning objections to the changes sought.
And as the building already has permission to be used as a pub, it will not need permission to become a restaurant – although it will need permission if it wants to offer takeaway food.
Mr Hardy said: “We believe the move to open more chain shops on East Street signals the beginning of the end on a irreparable slope of genericism, that sees our local elected council try ever so hard to turn our city centre into a carbon copy of every other British city, with more H&Ms, more Topshops, more Burger Kings and, ultimately, less of the Brighton we came here for and love.”
Mr Hardy previously started a petition to “Save Northern Lights” after the police requested a review of its drinks licence, which attracted 7,541 signatures. Northern Lights was subsequently allowed to keep its licence with just minor alterations.
The petition states that today, October 21, is the last day available to object to the application, which was submitted last month.