“Bewildering” plans for a takeaway and shared house on a road plagued by anti-social behaviour have been delayed to provide councillors with more clarity.

Local business owner Tony Chima wants to transform the disused Natwest bank on 76 Christchurch Road into a fish and chip shop “or similar” with a house in multiple occupation (HMO) above it.

Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) Planning Applications committee voted to defer its decision at Wednesday’s (November 13) meeting.

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Green councillor Josh Williams said he was “baffled” by the report which says there is only one other takeaway on the stretch.

He also questioned why this application would be approved when plans for a cafe/restaurant a few doors down were previously refused by the council and at appeal.

Planning officer Julie Williams suggested a deferral to provide clarity on the application, saying the report is “confusing” and “hasn’t left councillors feeling comfortable about making a decision”.

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Whitley Park Lane resident Jessica Di Luccio said there are already several takeaways on this part of the road. She said there is an obesity crisis and another takeaway will not help.

The nearby bus stop at Christchurch Green on the corner of Whitley Park Lane has been a hotspot for anti-social behaviour, with the university implementing a street warden scheme focused on dispersing students in this area.

Ms Di Luccio has compiled a dossier of anti-social behaviour witnessed by her and neighbours in the area surrounding St Patrick’s Hall over the last two years.

Anti-social behaviour has been recorded on east Reading roads including Christchurch Road.

“Residents have been victim to chanting, swearing, shouting, screaming, banging of bus shelters, walking on bus shelters, booze litter, vomiting and urinating on our streets”, said Ms Di Luccio.

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Concern was also raised at adding another HMO to this stretch of Christchurch Road.

Robert Cox, who lives around the corner from the development, says there are already at least 4 HMOs but “observations suggest many other houses on the road are HMOs” and another would “breach the limits”.

Committee member and local ward councillor Ruth McEwan declared an interest and did not vote so she could speak against the application.

She said: “This is a beautiful parade of shops. Locals don’t want it to be destroyed with an increase in takeaway shops.”

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Owner of the building and applicant Tony Chima says he has many years of experience running businesses and is confident such the takeaway – a fish and chip ship “or similar” opening from 11am-11pm – will be a success.

Mr Chima’s agent said other types of business have not been able to survive due to the way people shop nowadays.

The application will come back to the Planning Applications committee in December.