St Helens planning committee reject takeaway plans

The property on Bridge Street.
The property on Bridge Street.
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Plans to open a takeaway in a vacant building in Earlestown have been rejected.

St Helens Council’s planning committee considered plans for a change of use from a shop to hot food takeaway, along with installation of flue and elevation changes, on Bridge Street.

Melanie Hale, the council’s development service manager, said the property has remained vacant for at least five years.

Ms Hale said planning officers argue that bringing back the vacant unit in a prominent location would contribute to the council’s aim of promoting vitality and viability of Earlestown town centre.

Seven letters of objection have been received by the council regarding the plans, including from two ward councillors.

Addressing the committee as a public speaker, Sarah Henderson argued the development would not contribute to vitality in Earlestown town centre, which already features numerous takeaways.

Ms Henderson added that approving the application would “disregard the necessity” of enabling and supporting healthy lifestyles.

Moss Bank councillor Paul Lynch said he had concerns about the effect of a takeaway on residents living in the flat directly above the property.

Coun Lynch said: “I was misfortunate enough to work above a similar establishment for a couple of years and the flues don’t keep out the smells, they don’t keep out the heat.

“They don’t improve amenity by a demonstrable manner. It appears it in the report, but it won’t.

“When you’re living above it, when you’re going to work the next day or going to school the next day or out with your friends the next day and everything still smells of takeaways, that has a lingering impact on the amenity of local residents.”

Planning officers recommended that planning permission should be granted subject to conditions.

However, members unanimously voted to refuse planning permission due to loss of resident amenity and proliferation of hot food takeaways within the area.