Hundreds of residents have banded together to fight an application to turn a shop into a takeaway in Skipton Road, Colne.
Neighbours claim the building is an eyesore and appealed to councillors at Pendle Council’s Colne and District Committee to listen to their concerns.
The applicant bought the property five years ago and residents complained it had been left “to rack and ruin” since.
The owner initially applied to convert the shop to a takeaway four years ago but this was turned down and failed again on appeal.
Neighbour Neil Taylor told the committee: “The circumstances surrounding this application have not changed. Lancashire County Council’s highways officers have already refused it on the grounds of road safety and congestion due to its proximity to a zebra crossing and restricted parking.
“Already in this area we have problems with ant-social behaviour, litter and vandalism and believe a takeaway would only add to these problems.”
Mr Taylor claimed the applicant had only submitted plans for a takeaway to try to delay Pendle Council from forcing improvement work on the property.
He said: “After four years, we feel we are back at square one. We would like the council to put an end to this long-running saga now rather than let another planning application delay improvement work to the property. We know the council has reserved £80,000 to force improvements to this property and would like to see this done.”
Coun. Ann Kerrigan said she sympathised with residents. “The petition against this takeaway has more than 100 signatures, it just shows the residents are at the end of their tether, they can’t sell their homes because the property is in such a state. The applicant is clearly mocking the system and steps need to be taken against him urgently.”
The committee agreed a report should be brought back to the next meeting to see what could be done to improve the condition of the property.