Pizza plan for former Leyland opticians shop

A new future is set to be cooked up for a former opticians shop in Leyland after councillors gave the go ahead for it to be turned into a takeaway.

Monday, 21st December 2020, 6:18 pm
Updated Monday, 21st December 2020, 6:22 pm

Leyland Opticians closed its doors just over a year ago and merged with a neighbouring eyecare specialist just yards away from its Hough Lane base.

The vacant building will now become a pizza shop -“Bella Vieste” - after the proposal was unanimously approved by South Ribble Borough Council’s planning committee.

The authority’s environmental health team had initially raised concerns over the potential impact of odour and noise on neighbouring residential properties.

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Leyland Opticians on Hough Lane, pictured before its closure last year (image: Google Streetview)

However, planning officers advised committee members that it would “not be appropriate” to reject the application, given that it was for a town centre location where other similar businesses already operate.

Instead, the applicant will have to submit details of any external extraction equipment to be installed at the premises, which will need further approval from the council.

Cllr James Flannery praised those behind the plan - which it is expected will create seven jobs - for coming up with the kind of venture needed to give the town a boost whenever the pandemic ends.

“From a business perspective and due to the challenges businesses like this are having with Covid, it's great to see that people are prepared to invest and take a chance - because it’s small investments like this which will help us all recover,” he said.

The meeting also heard that the proposal chimes with the recent Leyland Town Deal bid for £25m of government funding to revitalise the town centre, the aims of which include the creation of a night-time economy and a plan to diversify the type outlets on offer in the area.

Anita Meres, addressing the committee on behalf of the applicant, said it was hoped that odours could be controlled “without the use of an external extractor”.

She added: “The opening of Bella Vieste will not only create jobs for local people, but will also assist in benefiting the local economy.”

The venue will operate between 4pm and 9.30pm on Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 4pm until 10.30pm Thursdays to Saturdays. It will be closed on Mondays and all bank holidays.