Hartlepool takeaway bid refused over concerns for shopping area

The site of a proposed take away that was refused planning permission. Picture by FRANK REID
The site of a proposed take away that was refused planning permission. Picture by FRANK REID

Plans to open a new takeaway at a Hartlepool shopping parade have been rejected after a planning inspector said there would be too many in the area.

Applicant Manjinder Jagpal appealed after Hartlepool Borough Council turned down the proposal on the site of the former Saxon pub, in Easington Road.

The pub has been converted and extended into four units.

A planning inspector appointed by the Secretary of State has upheld the council’s decision to refuse permission.

Caroline Jones said as there is already a fish and chip shop at the local centre, and another takeaway would be too much.

Ms Jones said in her report: “To my mind, given the small size of the centre, this would lead to an excessive number of non-retail units undermining the retail character and shopping function of the local centre and unacceptably harming its vitality.”

In the council’s emerging local plan it has a policy that takeaways should not take up more than 15% of a local centre’s floorspace.

The Saxon proposal would result in a 50% occupancy.

Marketing agents for Mr Jagpal claimed there was a lack of interest in vacant units on the site.

But a florist had taken over one empty unit when the inspector visited the site.

The council also refused the takeaway on the grounds that it would be bad for people’s health.

But the inspector said while Hartlepool has a significantly higher than average number of takeaways, she had seen no evidence specific to the locality or ward.

She added nuisance to neighbours from smells could have been dealt with extraction equipment.

But Ms Jones said the negatives of the proposal outweighed any potential benefits including creating jobs and business.

She said: “Whilst I have not found harm in relation to the health and well-being and living conditions of local residents, this does not outweigh the harm that I have found to the vitality of the local centre.”