A vacant former laundrette will become a café or restaurant despite neighbours raising noise concerns.

Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) Planning Applications committee approved the transformation plans at 60 Christchurch Road despite pleas from residents to visit the site before deciding.

Neighbour Robert Cox said the bus stop next to the site is a hotspot for anti social behaviour and “very little has happened to reduce the nuisances”.

He said the proposed closing time of 11pm would collide with the times used by students at the bus stop.

READ MORE: Protesters to gather outside Reading Borough Council offices to oppose pool plans

Simone Illger, chair of Northcourt Avenue Residents Association, added: “Allowing this application will only exacerbate the noise and disturbance residents are already experiencing."

Councillor Tony Page, lead member for Planning, responded: “As a former student this area has always had a level of activity and the associated complaints. It is right by a university.”

The plan was backed at last week’s Planning Applications committee meeting, on Wednesday, January 15, despite reservations from councillors.

Councillor Karen Rowland said “if we could refuse this we absolutely would” while Cllr Josh Williams agreed, saying a refusal would not stand up on appeal.

READ MORE: Reading's Royal Berkshire Hospital continues to deal with 'serious norovirus outbreak

The same proposal was refused in February 2019 and at appeal by a planning inspector.

However, the inspector and council officers agreed at the time the scheme would be acceptable under the new Local Plan, adopted in November last year.

Cllr Page said the changes to the planning blueprint, which make the application acceptable, were driven by the government.

Similar plans to the proposal have recently been approved under the new planning blueprint.

The council backed plans for a fish and chip shop and HMO at a former Natwest bank at 76 Christchurch Road in December 2019, despite similar concerns from councillors and residents.