Pizza chain Papa John's faces being booted out of London's Notting Hill. One of the country's top judges has backed a decision that its takeaway restaurant doesn't fit in at the trendy part of West London.
Mr Justice Duncan Ouseley rejected the international chain's High Court challenge in London to an order issued by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and later backed by a government inspector, forcing it to close its takeaway at 95 Golborne Road, London W10 because of an unlawful change of use without planning permission.
He upheld the inspector's conclusion that Papa John's harmed the "vitality and viability" of Golborne Road because most of its customers don't attend in person to collect their food, and those who do mainly visit at night or don't linger to enjoy the street's restaurants, bars and independent shops or nearby Golborne Street Market.
Papa John's had argued that its thriving Golborne Road branch seats eight, and attracts so much business that even if most customers order their pizzas delivered, it still brings more people to the area than the Moroccan restaurant that used to be there.
However, the judge said that Papa John's did not have an arguable case, and that the inspector had reached a "fair judgment as to the time at which the preponderance of customers do arrive and the inability of them effectively to support the vitality and viability of the centre".
During the hearing, the judge used "judicial notice" to give his own experience of customers collecting takeaway pizzas, saying: "They look to park as close to where they are going to collect their food. They whizz in, get their food and get out again as quickly as they can. They tend to park as close as possible, regardless of the statutory limitations, possibly regardless of the convenience of other road users."