THE Planning Inspectorate will consider plans for a former bank which closed after two armed raids to be turned into a fish and chip shop.

The Natwest bank on Fair Road, Wibsey, closed in 2015 after the robberies “to protect the safety of its staff and customers.”

Bradford Council planning chiefs rejected proposals for a takeaway to open at the site in March 2017, saying it would lead to an "over concentration" of hot food takeaways in the area. They said the position of a bus stop in front of the site would cause parking problems, as well as issues with road safety.

Planning officers said the takeaway would be "detrimental to the vitality and viability" of the area.

But the applicant has now lodged an appeal against the council's decision with the Planning Inspectorate.

As part of the appeal, the applicant admitted there is no off-street parking but said customers could park on nearby streets.

The appeal document said: "Prior to the bank closing there was a busy ATM machine which was open 24 hours. This would have attracted vehicles to park up near to use the machine. This is no different to what we are proposing. Most of the units in the area do not possess designated off-street parking provision."

But the council received 20 objections to the initial planning application.

And members of the Wibsey Liberal Club, which is based next door to the site, handed a petition to planning officers in protest against the scheme.

Dave Brownsett, committee member at the club, said: "There's a bus stop right outside so there is nowhere for anyone to park.

"There are also too many takeaways here already, there are three fish and chip shops nearby. If they want to open a fish and chip shop, there is already an empty one further down the road. We don't want to see shops being left empty but the Flying Fish at the top of Oakroyd Road has been empty for a while, so why don't they open there?

"Our club has a lot of elderly members, we are mostly for people over 50, and when they leave the club they don't want people kicking about on the street outside."

Cllr Ralph Berry (LAB - Wibsey ward), added: "There's a high level of objections from neighbours. It's a dangerous spot for cars to stop and there is no parking.

"We will make sure that representations are made to the inspectorate but it is an independent process."

The applicant was approach for a comment.