A district councillor has criticised the number of pizza shops in Wantage after plans were submitted for a fourth such restaurant.

Magnos Pizza has proposed to convert the former Umami delicatessen on Newbury Street into a hot-food take-away outlet selling pizzas and kebabs.

It would join other pizza shops Dominos, Caprinos, and Papa Johns, which will open on April 17.

Cllr Ben Mabbett, a parish and district councillor for Grove, said a greater diversity of restaurants was needed in the town.

He said: “Another takeaway that is so similar to all the others is disappointing to see.

“My preference is always for a bit of diversity in our retail offering, and it is a bit disappointing that the council isn’t doing more to promote diversity in our shops.

“We have needed a shoe shop for a long time but there is not that impetus to encourage different types of shops in Wantage.

“There are too many pizza shops but if people want to keep people buying from them then that is what happens.”

Mayor Jim Sibbald added that “market forces” were to blame for the number of pizza shops in the town.

He said: “Obviously, there is a need for food options in Wantage and if people are maintaining their desires for these establishments, they will be successful.

“You can have too much of a good thing. It is nice to have choice. Some people might say they like the choice of the type of pizza. I like a choice in the type of food.”

Anthony Shearman from Meadow Court said the town was “overrun with pizza shops” in a public consultation on the plans by Magnos Pizza.

The owners want to install a commercial-size pizza oven and kebab-making equipment, which has prompted fears of smells affecting nearby properties.

Residents also claimed another take-away restaurant would worsen late-night drunken behaviour and traffic issues in the town.

The solicitors who represent the restaurant said: “So far there have been no drunken behaviours in the restaurants and coffee shops opening late night and our client’s take away premises will not be an exception.

“Our client further informed us that there is a 30-minute free car park within one minute walk from the premises and all the takeaway drivers manage the traffic efficiently and effectively.

“The client will have a modern canopy as such smell will not be felt. Although, there are other restaurants, and our client food premises is in the immediate vicinity so smell should not be a concern.”

Read More: https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/23310391.plans-new-pizza-takeaway-oxfordshire-town-centre/