Pizza vending machine plan in Motherwell was thrown out at appeal stage

Hungry late-night revellers have been told by a Government official to make their own pizza - after plans for a 24-hour vending machine were binned.

motherwell civic centre

Planners feared late night noise and traffic problems if the hot food facility in Motherwell was allowed. Scottish Government reporter Philip Barton this week upheld a decision to refuse planning permission

He said: "PIzza is not the only form of sustenance for human beings.

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"I don't doubt that many people consider it their foodstuff of choice, but it can't be reasonably argued that this requires it to be made available permanently to an entire population throughout the day and night.

"If someone in the vicinity desires to eat pizza it may be obtained quickly from an existing fast food outlet or, with a little forethought and planning, bought from a supermarket or made at home using fresh ingredients."

Graeme Wry had appealed against a decision by North Lanarkshire Council in August to refuse permission for the vending machine outside a general store in Leven Street.

Mr Wry argued that it would be a safe way of dispensing food should there be another Covid-19 lockdown – but the reporter concluded: "The pandemic will eventually come to an end.

"Although contact-free cooking and delivery would represent a potential benefit, especially to people who are extremely vulnerable to Covid-19, I'm not convinced this is sufficient to establish a local need for the proposal."

People living nearby were furious at the planned vending machine. One man said: "This would encourage youth and patrons of local bars to use this at ridiculous times. Covid can be avoided by using apps such as Just Eat.”

Mr Dry had told the council: "Pizza could be ordered in advance and paid for online or at the machine through contactless payment system. There would be no congregation of the public, no interaction with staff and no exchange of money which all cuts down on the spread of infection."

His agent, Tommy Cochrane, said: "We feel that refusal was made by the council without an in-depth knowledge of the machines.”