THE owner of a former post office earmarked for conversion to a takeaway has countered critics who have lambasted its sale.
South Tyneside Council’s planning committee will reconsider an application to convert the former post office at The Nook, in Prince Edward Road, South Shields, into a fast-food outlet when it meets next week.
The proposed move has come under fire from councillors and residents who claim there are already enough takeaways in the area.
And Yousoof Nojib, who runs a dentist practice above the application site, has claimed odours and noises coming from a takeaway would disturb his patients,
But members of the committee will be recommended to approve the bid when they meet on Monday.
Today Dionne Andre, who owns the property, said she had made every effort to sell it as a post office – but without success.
She said “her hands were tied” over the sale because the only interest she had was for conversion to a hot food outlet.
Miss Andre, who lives in Harton Rise, close to the application site, also criticised the “demonisation” of takeaways, and said that measures would be put in place – including extractor fans – to minimise the impact from odours.
She said: “I just couldn’t sell it as a post office. The interest just wasn’t there. I tried for a year.
“My hands were tied and I had to consider selling it for use as a takeaway. When I did, I immediately had two offers within a week.
“If I had my way I would have continued to run it as a post office and a mini-market into my old age, but when Tescos opened that was no longer possible. The business just wasn’t there.
“The criticisms from the dentist are unfair. He operates during the day, the takeaway will be open at night.
“I don’t know why people demonise takeaways anyway. Conditions will be put in place to ensure that there are strict conditions to prevent emissions and noise.
“I live in the area, I wouldn’t want an empty building on my doorstep becoming an eyesore.”
A 16-name petition objecting to the plans has been put together by residents of nearby Prince Edward Road and South Avenue.
The proposed takeaway, believed to be intending to serve Indian food, would open from 5.30pm to 11pm on weekdays, and Sundays, and from 5.30pm to 12.30am on Saturdays.
Residents say there are already enough takeaways at The Nook and claim it is beginning to resemble the town’s Ocean Road, home to dozens of restaurants and takeaways.
The planning committee meets at South Shields Town Hall, from 10am.