PLANS for a new pizza takeaway to open in Workington have been met with fierce opposition due to health concerns.

Red Raven Design, acting on behalf of Ms Alamdar, has applied to Allerdale council to change the use of a ground-floor unit on the corner of Vulcans Lane and Princess Street from retail to takeaway.

The premises were formerly a corner shop, By-Wise, and Ms Alamdar said changes in shopping patterns and increased competition from larger shops, made the unit economically unviable for retail, which meant it has been empty for some time.

Residents fear the takeaway will not only cause traffic and parking chaos, but they are also concerned it will exacerbate the obesity crisis.

Terence Wright, who lives near the proposed pizza shop, said: “There has never been a hot food takeaway on Vulcans Lane, Princess Street or Fleet Street so it’s unusual that there would be a change of license to a property now so close to a school, especially given the national climate around obesity and the effects of the fast food regime in children.”

He is concerned that the proposed takeaway is within close proximity of two schools and a children’s play park.

He added: “There are currently approximately 29 fast food outlets in Workington and seven within 400 meters of where the proposed change of use is.

“Cumbria is inundated with takeaways, and with the obesity epidemic it’s fair to see why the change of license would be against not just local, but national interest. “

His son Kieran, who suffers from epilepsy, is concerned about increased traffic and parked cars.

He said: “My objections is that I have epilepsy and I frequently need an ambulance to come at night when I’m having a seizure.

“If you let a takeaway open there, I could be having a seizure one night and needing an ambulance and when it comes it can’t park up on the road outside my house because people who work or are visiting the takeaway could be parked there obstructing the ambulance crew from getting to me.

“This means I could possibly die because when I have a seizure it makes me stop breathing and I need oxygen supplied by the paramedics. If they can’t park up and get to me in time, it could result in my death which isn’t a great thing to think about.”

The county council’s highways department has recommended the plans for refusal on the grounds that no parking has been provided and people could be parking on double yellow lines as a result.

But agent Mr Ward said the applicant had made changes to address these concerns.

He said: “The applicant has amended the application so that operating hours after 7pm will be for delivery only.

“This will eliminate visiting traffic and associated parking issues. These changes have been accepted by county Highways who will remove their objection if these amendments are accepted.”