Pizza Express takeaway sales stopped in St Ives
A NATIONAL pizza chain has been forced to stop selling takeaways after the move caused uproar among angry traders in St Ives.
One of the planning conditions that allowed Pizza Express to take over the old Woolworth's building in the town was that the outlet wouldn't compete with existing pizza takeaway businesses.
But in August locals noticed signs on the pavement on Wharf Road offering takeaway pizza for sale.
When they confronted staff at the outlet they were told to contact the company's head office.
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The signs later disappeared.
But it is understood Pizza Express continued to sell takeaways and only stopped on Tuesday, a day after being contacted by The Cornishman.
Cornwall Council has confirmed it was in touch with Pizza Express.
A council spokesperson said: "A condition of the original planning permission restricted the sale of hot or cold food for consumption off the premises. We have drawn this to the attention of agents acting for Pizza Express who advise that the takeaway element should cease from today."
A spokesman for Pizza Express told The Cornishman that the outlet would stop offering takeaway pizza from Tuesday but declined to comment further.
That response has left some convinced the move was an attempt to ignore the rules rather than an oversight.
Gordon Mackie, who sells pizza from both his Coast To Go and St Ives Pasty Bakery outlets, said: "I just felt it was a big company chancing their arm. I did go into Pizza Express and I called their office and Cornwall Council, who said they were already taking action.
"They tried it on and they've succeeded in doing it in the most profitable bit of the summer.
"They won't lose much by saying they'll stop now in the winter. We'll just have to see what happens next summer."
Mayor of St Ives Colin Nicholls said: "Common sense has prevailed. We're not trying to stifle trade, just ensure a level playing field, to ensure that someone's enthusiasm doesn't affect another honest player."