Restaurant is approved

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A BUSINESSMAN’S plan for a 16-seat restaurant and takeaway has been approved.

Michael Robson’s application to convert a kitchen design shop in Milburn Road, Ashington, was approved on the chairman’s casting vote at a meeting of Northumberland County Council’s south east planning committee.

Eight people living nearby had objected to the application, citing traffic and parking problems and the prospect of late-night disturbance.

Some councillors at last week’s Choppington meeting shared residents’ concern about traffic and voted against the restaurant.

When the first motion fell six-four, Coun Jim Sawyer proposed refusing permission but found no seconder.

Then voting on Coun Anita Romer’s motion to make the takeaway close at 11pm on Sunday instead of midnight tied four-four.

Initially councillors were told the matter should go to the county’s central planning committee, but later that was corrected and chairman, Coun Dave Ledger, advised to use his casting vote.

He backed the recommendation to grant permission.

Planning officers said there would no additional traffic or parking problems and there were already other takeaways nearby.

Mr Robson had argued that a convenience store could be run there without a change in permission and that would generate more traffic than a takeaway.