CONTROVERSIAL plans to turn a former corner shop in a residential street into a takeaway look set to be rejected.

An application has been lodged to turn the boarded-up shop in Belvedere Road, Darlington, into a Thai takeaway.

Similar plans were turned down by town hall planning officers under delegated powers in May.

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The property has been empty for 15 years and has attracted vandals.

More than 70 letters and emails objecting to the proposals have been received by Darlington Borough Council.

Almost 30 letters and emails have been received in support, although papers prepared for the council's planning committee say some of these appear to be fake, as they were not sent from a valid email account.

Issues raised by the objectors include:

* noise and disturbance from late-night customers and traffic;

* noise and smells from a flue pipe in a rear yard;

* there are already many fast-food shops in nearby Victoria Road;

* increased litter and anti-social behaviour.

Supporters say the shop has been boarded-up for too long and shut be brought back into use as it has become an eyesore.

Those in favour of the application also say it is a ten-minute walk to the takeaways in Victoria Road and that Thai food would be a welcome addition to what is already on offer.

Planning officials are recommending that the scheme be refused on the grounds of its close proximity to homes and the noise and nuisance it would be likely to cause.

The report for members states: "Hot food takeaways are desirable to many people, but not if they are located close to their house or garden.

"In this instance, a number of objections have been raised by local residents.

"While each issue alone may not be sufficient to refuse planning permission, their combined impacts can lead to unacceptable harm to the amenities of residents.

"Other issues, such as people congregating outside or near to the shop, have been raised.

"While this is not something that is necessarily going to be a problem, evidence suggests that it may happen from time to time.

"The application has received support from a number of residents, some of whom live some distance from the site.

"A balance has to be considered with the residents who live close to the site."

The committee meets on Wednesday (August 27), at 1.30pm, at the town hall.