Takeaway turned down but Hartlepool council look set to face appeal

76 Church Street which planned to become a takeaway and flat above
76 Church Street which planned to become a takeaway and flat above

Councillors refused a planning application to open a new takeaway in Hartlepool.

The applicant, who wants to live above the shop with his family, applied to Hartlepool Borough Council for a change of use for 76 Church Street.

We should be trying to get people to put money into business to regenerate the area

Terry Bates speaking on behalf of the takeaway applicant

It was previously used as offices by children’s charity Barnardo’s.

Terry Bates said the applicant, who he spoke for, also owns a convenience store which used to be a takeaway next to the premises.

He said the applicant will appeal the decision.

Mr Bates said: “It will be run as a family business. We should be trying to get people to put money into business to regenerate the area and this is what this man is trying to do.”

But councillors on the planning committee rejected permission saying it goes against regeneration plans for the area, over concerns about where waste would be stored and the amount of takeaways already in the town.

Coun Stephen Akers-Belcher was not happy that planning officers had not asked the authority’s regeneration department for its views.

The council plans to transform the Church Street area into a Skills and Innovation Quarter to support and attract new creative business and upgrade buildings.

Coun Akers-Belcher said: “I think Hartlepool can do better than a takeaway shop. We have got far too many.”

Councillors voted by six against to one for the takeaway with residential living above.

Coun Marjorie James abstained from the vote but said she was concerned about bins potentially stored at the back of the shop that also serves as a fire escape.

Coun George Springer said: “We have got too many takeaways. It is opening the door.”

The council’s Health Improvement Team opposed the takeaway saying there is a higher proportion of them in Hartlepool compared to national figures and it could add to the ward’s child obesity rates.

But Coun Ray Martin-Wells said: “I don’t see that it is this committee’s responsibility to tell people what to eat.”