Budleigh Salterton councillors have backed a proposed new takeaway because ‘anything other than an empty building is positive for the town’.
The bid for 42 High Street won support at a meeting last night, with one representative saying: “We should be happy it’s not a charity shop for once.”
Budleigh Salterton Town Council’s planning committee gave the application their blessing – despite not knowing what hot food it will serve.
Applicant Mr Brian Male is seeking permission for a change of use from a solicitors’ office to eatery and to install an extraction system at the rear of the property.
The hot food takeaway would be open from 3pm to 10.30pm Monday – Friday and from 1pm to 11pm on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays.
Seven objections have been lodged to date.
Councillor Henry Riddell said of the plans: “The objections I read online were of noise late at night. I don’t really see an issue. To me it’s just discouraging business.
“I think we should be happy it’s not a charity shop for once.
“If you live on the High Street you should expect the noise.
“The takeaways and food places that are in the town must already have these extraction units, so, if they’ve already got it, what difference does it make if one more has it?
“I don’t see how we can say ‘yes’ to some and not the other.”
Cllr Roger Sherriff, planning committee chairman, added: “There’s a slight conundrum in that we want to encourage new businesses in the High Street, however, the Neighbourhood Plan does say all proposals should not have a significant negative impact on the following residential amenity – access to traffic, car parking, landscape and the character of the area, which is in a conservation area.
“The residents have got concerns reference smell, noise, and the extraction fan, which are quite understandable.”
Cllr Peter Duke said members ‘have no idea’ what food will be served up at the eatery.
He added that parking in High Street ‘isn’t particularly easy’ and said: “I was a bit concerned when they mentioned the extractor because there is housing adjacent.
“That may or may not be very noisy and it may or may not be very smelly extracting whatever hot food it happens to be – and also the issue with takeaways is very often, very sadly, these become throwaways because people discard all the wrappers and all the food and goodness knows what. It’s an environmental issue.”
Cllr Megan Keneally-Stone said: “I would like it to be something really salubrious down there, but who knows what it’s going to be.
“Anything other than an empty building is actually positive for the town.
“I firmly believe, if you are choosing to rent a property or buy in the High Street, you are doing that because you want the vibrancy and the convenience.
“I think it would be a negative thing for people in Budleigh to see that the town doesn’t support a new business.
“It’s for licensing to bring up the other criticisms we have brought to the table.”
Mayor Cllr Caz Sismore-Hunt added: “I am voting against it because I don’t know what I am voting for.”
Members voted to support the application.
East Devon District Council will decide the fate of the proposal.
Plans state the new business would create one full-time and two part-time jobs.
Number 42 High Street was formerly home to Everys solicitors.