Gary is hoping Fenland planners will give way on his take away for empty village shop

CATERING entrepreneur Gary Meads is hoping Fenland councillors will ditch a Government planning inspector’s ruling and allow him to open a hot food takeaway in Parson Drove.

His 30 month battle to convert a former hair salon at 3 The Bank, moves back to Fenland District Council Planning Committee next week.

Mr Mead will be hoping to persuade councillors to support his bid to run the take away despite it being opposed by the parish council which claims the business would not be sustainable.

Parish councillors also argue it would create noise and extra traffic, a view shared by six residents who also claim the proposal is out of keeping with the area and is too small to be viable.

Mr Mead has received some support from council officers who concede the site is too small for housing and business use remains the better option.

In a report to councillors, officials say the council normally supports providing a range of services within a community.

“A healthy mix of uses within these areas is fundamental to the attractiveness of centres and to the well being of the community,” says their report.

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The take away “would add a sense of community” and support the Government’s sustainable communities agenda within Parson Drove.

However they also point out that a Government inspector suggested the extra traffic would generate noise and disturbance to nearby residents and should be refused.

“The decision is a material planning consideration,” says the report. “It is the view that the planning inspector’s decision on this matter holds greater weight and that the application should be recommended for refusal.”

Officers point out that no objections have been raised by the council’s environmental team or conservation officer and that highways objection could be overcome.

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