A FORMER high street estate agent premises looks set to reopen as a chicken restaurant and takeaway despite concerns over road safety.

BCP Council’s highways team said the change of use plans for 251 Ashley Road, Parkstone, would “increase highway safety dangers for all road users”.

The objecting council department also highlighted the impact on the flow of traffic, as well as increased congestion and pollution in the area.

However, council planners approved the scheme stating that there are existing parking restrictions in Ashley Road, deliveries would be at the rear of the site and there are examples of similar developments in the area.

Documents submitted as part of the application suggest the site will be taken on by Southern Fried Chicken (SFC).

A statement on behalf of applicant Hoyle & Company (Bournemouth) Ltd said the owner of the unit had carried out “significant” marketing but it had remained vacant for a “considerable period”.

“SFC and their local operator which is a national brand has now agreed terms with the freeholder and plans a mixed-use approach, that being a restaurant and take-away premises utilising high quality design and finishes,” the statement said.

The development will see a mixed use as a restaurant with seating directly inside, while the business will also offer takeaways.

“Given the recent covid scenario and the popularity of home delivery, the operators believe the takeaway element will likely take the form of a delivery service rather than the traditional take away premises model,” the statement said.

Two residents had tabled objections to the scheme, voicing concerns over noise, loss of neighbouring amenity, impact on waste and loss of value to neighbouring refusal.

Planning officer Rebecca Murunga’s report, which came before the approval under delegated powers, said: “It is considered that the provision of a mixed class use of E(b) and takeaway sui generis in this sustainable location is appropriate and in line with the Local Plan policy, while there may be some disturbance to neighbours this would be within acceptable limits having regard to the busy location.

“The proposal would provide social and economic benefits within the district centre.”