AN ANGRY clergyman has hit back at plans allow a popular takeaway in the middle of a student hotspot to sell food until 5am.

Pizza giants Dominos has submitted a licensing application to enable its store in Christchurch Road, Reading, to remain open throughout the night.

Council officers have recommended the bid be rejected amid fears of an increase in crime and disorder and public nuisance.

Nearby residents echoed council chiefs' concerns, saying they are regularly disturbed by rowdy students late at night.

Reverend Canon Bernard Metcalfe, of Elmhurst Road, said: "I am writing to express my deep concern as a local resident and to object very strongly to the application.

"My wife and I, along with other local residents, are already at risk of being disturbed at night by the comings and goings of the students living in nearby halls of residence.

"The impact on our sleep and lives in general would be made very much worse by any extension of hours at these premises.

"The problem with litter associated with the fast food and drink outlets in Christchurch Road is already such that I have to keep some litter tongs by my front door to deal with the packaging, cartons, cans and bottles that get dropped or blown into my garden."

The application will be heard by Reading Borough Council's licensing team at a meeting later this month.

Dominos states it will keep noise disturbance to a minimum by making sure delivery drivers switch off their engines before fetching orders.

But another resident added: "We are regularly disturbed between 2am and 4am by gatherings at the Christchurch Green parade of shops as people return from town clubs or avail themselves of late night outlets after events at the Students' Union or in halls of residence.

"It is clear that buying late-night fast-food often follows excessive alcohol consumption and the excessive gatherings of drunk people is a contributor to the growth of crime and disorder."

Dominos currently stops serving food at 1am on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. It serves until 2am on other days.

The new application is to allow the eatery to serve food up until 5am.

Councillors will discuss the application at Reading Borough Council's civic offices on Tuesday, November 28.