Worries that a County Durham town's high street is becoming blighted by takeaways was not enough to convince councillors to reject plans for a new facility. 

A proposal to open another takeaway inside a former tanning, beauty, hairdressing and tattooing salon on Easington Colliery’s Seaside Lane was approved at a planning meeting on Thursday (March 30).

But residents are concerned that opening a seventh takeaway service just metres away from a nursery school and youth group could potentially increase anti-social behaviour in the town. 

Cllr Leeann Clarkson, chair of Easington Colliery Parish Council, said: “There are already a significant number of hot food takeaways in the locality and particularly along the main street of Seaside Lane. 

“It is considered there is an over saturation of hot food takeaways and the addition of a further takeaway over three levels will exacerbate this. It will also impact on the viability and vitality of the commercial heart of the colliery. Throughout the day many of these facilities remain closed and this gives a negative impression to both investors and the public alike.”

County cllr Angela Surtees worries that the takeaway’s location to the school will have a negative impact on the health of the local population. 

“It is an area of high levels of anti-social behaviour and it’s in an area of high deprivation with more than five per cent of the units [in the village] being takeaway,” she said. 

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But cllr Joe Quinn countered the concerns by saying: “I can’t imagine the children are personally going to be going up to buy food.” 

The applicant Antony Lang defended the decision to lodge the application, saying it would help fill an empty unit. “It is better to have some active use at these premises than none,” he said. “The new use will provide jobs and a new facility which will help with competition and keep prices low. 

“Business rates will bring more money into the council, as will taxes. The concerns of the parish council are noted, but on balance, it is obviously better to do something, than nothing.”