By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
PLANS by the owners of the Wendy's fast food franchise to construct another shopping centre in the Cable Beach area have again been met with opposition from area residents, who have organised an online petition in a bid to block the development, Tribune Business has learned.
The petition, which up to yesterday had garnered 86 signatures, is in opposition to the construction of a shopping centre by the Aetos Holdings group, which is owned by brothers Chris and Terry Tsavoussis, and operates the Wendy's and Marco's Pizza franchises. Numerous calls placed to the brothers yesterday were not returned up to press time.
A spokesperson for the group organising the online petition told Tribune Business: "They have put some plans in for a shopping centre on that particular lot at the corner of Atlantic Drive and West Bay Street.
"We are opposing that because there is already a shopping centre with restaurants and everything there, and we are concerned because it's situated right behind a private residential area. We are concerned about restaurants causing more pollution and more rodents. This is going to be right against our property. We are concerned about the noise that's going to come from the congestion of traffic."
In its petition, the group says it opposes plans to construct any kind of commercial complex, which includes fast food or drive-through restaurants, east of the entrance to the Westridge Shopping Centre on West Bay Street.
The group stated: "We want to avoid at all costs unnecessary traffic, noise, drive-through speakers, gas fumes, amplified radios, commercial garbage, kitchen exhaust, rodents, noise pollution and unwanted food smells. We hereby request assurance from Town Planning that this will not be allowed."
Opposition from area residents to such a development is not new, and the Tsavoussis brothers and Aetos Holdings can be forgiven for a feeling of deja vu or 'here we go again'.
The site in question was one where they applied to the Town Planning Committee several years ago for permission to construct a Wendy's restaurant at the corner of West Bay Street and Atlantic Drive - the stretch of road leading into the upscale Westridge subdivision.
That, too, was met by strong opposition from residents in the community. The brothers ultimately ended up moving Wendy's into the Cable Beach shopping centre site occupied previously by Pizza Hut, across from the much-contested location.
But, as a result, the Tsavoussis brothers were left with having spent what is understood to be a seven-figure sum on land they have been unable to use, or get an investment return on. They were understood to have been upset with Town Planning which, after granting them an 'approval in principle', rescinded this and reversed course after the opposition surfaced.
As a result, they were forced to explore alternative uses for that acre of land, after the Ministry of Works decided not to intercede on their behalf with Town Planning following the protests.