A LOCAL authority has been asked to grant backdated planning permission for the conversion of a 'vacant and dilapidated' former youth drop in centre into a Turkish takeaway.

The premises in Hurstwood Avenue, Blackburn, are already in use by the successful food business.

Now Antalya Turkish Cuisine want to regularise its status.

It has applied to Blackburn with Darwen Council for retrospective planning permission for the change of use of the property in the Green Lane area.

Local Mill Hill and Moorgate ward's Cllr Jim Smith said: "People say it's very nice. I've never used it myself.

"They should have applied for planning permission first. People should always do that because if it is refused that's their business gone.

"Despite that I would have no issues with it being granted backdated approval."

A supporting statement from the Urban Future Planning Consultancy Ltd says: "Consent was granted in 2004 for the change of use of the property in Hurstwood Avenue from a retail unit to a youth drop-in centre.

"Following the closure of the youth drop-in centre, the property remained vacant and dilapidated for a considerable amount of time.

"The applicant has undertaken extensive renovation works to bring about a high-quality, highly regarded Turkish Cuisine food-delivery service.

"The application site comprises a brick-built, semi-detached property located in a suburban residential locality.

"The business is well-appreciated amongst the local community with excellent online reviews and a strong social media presence with over 800 followers.

"The applicant’s cuisine offer differs from a traditional takeaway.

"Turkish cuisine incorporates a range of vegetable dishes known as zeytinyagli yemegi -- foods cooked in olive oil.

"The applicant’s website has a page dedicated to ‘healthy’ options and the business’s social media presence and reviews clearly indicate the popularity of the healthy food options available.

"The introduction of the business is considered to have made an effective use of the long-standing vacant property, created an active frontage in the evening and created additional jobs including for a chef, till operator, cleaner and delivery drivers.

"It also promotes local consumer choice and makes use of the ever-growing food delivery mobile phone applications.

"As a shop and later a youth drop in centre, nearby occupants were well accustomed to comings and goings to and from the premises at all times of the day and evening.

"The pair of semi-detached properties have long been in commercial use.

"Any activity generated by the use as a hot food takeaway is concentrated to the front away from neighbouring occupiers."