Council takes a battering after turning town takeaway plans for empty South Shields shop

The shop at he centre of the planning row
The shop at he centre of the planning row

Council chiefs have taken a battering after banning a hot food outlet from opening - as they battle against child obesity in South Tyneside.

Gazette readers have criticised the decision to refuse planning permission for a new hot food takeaway at South Shields’ Market Place, claiming the council are letting a potentially good business unit go to waste - and dictating what people can and cannot consume.

However, there was some support from others who feel the number of takeaways in the town centre is already too high.

The decision to refuse permission for the new business in a disused retail unit at the end of King Street came after the council introduced new powers of refusal to limit the opening of hot food takeaways in areas with child obesity levels above 10 per cent.

The ward where the bid was based has a 17.2 per cent level of 10 and 11-year-olds being overweight and 18.4 per cent very overweight or obese.

Related: Council says it is ahead of the game in work to beat childhood obesity

Planners also said the development was also too close to South Shields’ Grade II listed Old Town Hall and could be a blight on its environment.

Readers were quick to take to out Facebook page with their views.

Angela Routledge wrote that she initially agreed with the decision but then changed her mind, adding: “Hang on, it could be a better takeaway. The council should look at some of the takeaways currently trading.”

Josh Heslop said: “Turning down any business coming to the town to protect lazy people with no self-control is insane.

“Why does the council get to dictate what is good for people?”

Graham Jordon blasted described the decision as “shameful” and added: “There isn’t one at the market of an evening and if an entrepreneur wishes to invest and pay the extortionate private landlord lease, then good luck to them. Not the nanny state stance the council is taking.”

James Sinclair wrote: “Well done the council. Now let’s make it into a charity shop, like we normally do.”

Rebecca Bailey said the council should strike a deal with a new businesses to take up vacant shops, adding: “At the end of the day, they’re standing empty.”

Syd Dickinson claimed South Shields was ‘on its knees’ due to parking charges and high rents and said: “Give any business a chance, I say.”

But Brian Williamson supported the ban, adding: “A sports shop or a big sweet shop - something different. Don’t need another food or charityshop in town.”

And Yvonne Anderson voiced her approval, saying: “Good. Last thing we need is another fast food joint.

Stuart Cook recommended the proposed hot food outlet be turned into a card shop, while Alan Clark said: “Upmarket café, please.”