PLANS to create a takeaway have become the centre of attention and controversy in Oakley.
Oakley Parish Council’s planning committee heard from villagers concerned about Darren Lambert’s proposals to change the use of 15 Meon Road into a fast-food outlet.
As previously reported in The Gazette, Mr Lambert, of Fox Lane, submitted an application in August 2013 for the same proposal, but withdrew it after concerns were raised regarding possible anti-social behaviour, littering, noise and odours.
Mr Lambert has since resubmitted his application and has stated that the concerns will be addressed by installing a high-specification extraction system to prevent noise and nasty smells, reducing the opening hours to prevent anti-social behaviour, and installing refuse bins outside the front of the shop.
If approved, the takeaway would open from 1pm until 9pm, Monday to Saturday, and five people would be employed to help run it.
A survey sent to 200 residents by the applicant found that many people are travelling to Basingstoke or Overton for takeaway food.
However, objectors at the Oakley meeting said Mr Lambert had only sent the survey to those living away from the site.
A spokesman for the group, who refused to give his name, said neighbours of Meon Road were opposed to the plans because of possible anti-social behaviour problems, concerns about parking outside and noise.
The resident, from Medina Gardens, pointed out that vehicular access to the proposed takeaway, which is currently empty, is down a narrow road with no pavements or lighting.
Councillor Margaret Burgess agreed with residents’ concerns and said some of the pubs offer takeaway food, adding: “We used to have a fish and chip van come round.
“He doesn’t come any more – does that tell you something, that people don’t want it so much?”
Councillors agreed to object to the proposal on the grounds that the takeaway would be close to residential properties, it could create noise disturbance, the survey was not carried out adequately, and there are concerns regarding the disposal of waste.
Mr Lambert, who has lived in Oakley for 10 years, used to run a care agency from Meon Road which employed 100 staff before the company moved to Basingstoke. He then leased the building to a couple who opened a sweet shop, but this closed down.
Mr Lambert said a takeaway was a popular idea with villagers he spoke to, and he believes it will be sustainable and supported.
The father-of-two added: “The residents who live near to the site will obviously have their reasons for objection, but I believe that we have approached all of their concerns as best we can.”
He said villagers’ claims that his business could cause anti-social behaviour were “insulting”, adding: “The One Stop shop stays open until 11pm and teenagers are not a problem in this area.
“It would be a shame that the voices of a few will be heard over the majority of the village.”
A final decision on whether the takeaway will be approved will be taken by the borough council.