Takeaway plan for toilets

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Plans to turn a former town centre toilet block into a takeaway have won approval by the town council.

The toilets in Chapel Lane, which had stood empty since 2009, were bought at auction by Iftikhar Choudary back in August 2011.

He has now submitted a change of use application to turn the site into a restaurant and takeaway and a meeting place for the local community.

And his proposal has moved a step closer to becoming reality after the planning committee of DTC gave their approval for the plans.

Mr Choudary, who is a Northampton Borough Councillor, says he is looking to engage with local people prior to starting work on changing the site.

He said: “We are hoping to get approval for the plans. When we are at this stage, I will be looking to speak to members of the local community to see what they would like to get out of this facility.

“We are open to all suggestions but it would be good to have something in there like computer classes for older people and for Age Concern.”

The plan for the new business is to emulate a similar scheme which he runs in Northampton.

Mr Choudary added: “We will be looking to make it a cheap place for people to go and eat, the cheapest in the town. We are having to get a restaurant licence as well just in case people want to eat in the building.”

Town councillors recommended the plans for approval to Daventry District Council (DDC) stating they believed it would enhance the look of the building.

The final decision on whether to approve the planning application will come from DDC.

Mr Choudary said: “I do not know when the building might be completed. We will just see how it goes.

“I don’t want a timescale on it but I am hopeful we will be able to progress.”

As part of the application, Mr Choudary has submitted a heritage appraisal which said: “The proposed development will enhance the character of the conservation area and will not harm the setting of the Moot Hall.

“The development will lead to re-use of a disused site in the town centre with a use compatible with the nature of the town. The proposal will generate economic benefits. This development meets the definition of sustainable development as set out in the NPPF.”