PLANS to turn a coffee shop in Appleton into a pizzeria have been approved by Warrington Borough Council despite concerns from residents.

Applicant Karen Howard, who runs Bizzie Beans, submitted plans for the cafe to be converted into a hot food takeaway in January after a previous application was withdrawn last year.

The coffee house opened in the vacant Bridge Lane premises in January 2016, but 53-year-old Karen, from Appleton, said that a change in use will be a way of moving the business in a new direction.

She said: "The cafe has never struggled and it has always held its own.

"It is something we have thought about doing for a while and also, I think from the point of view of the cafe, it was a way of testing the water and seeing what people wanted in the area. I think this is something I've always seen as the next stage.

"People have been telling me that this is what they would like. I feel it is something that has been needed for a long time."

Former foster carer Karen added that the pizzeria will also cater to 'vulnerable' members of the community in Appleton.

She said: "For the older generation it will be somewhere where they can grab something to eat at tea time, or for those who don't tend to cook if they live on their own.

"It has more of a social side for them as well. It gives them somewhere to walk to, and feel safe – a little social hive, if you like."

It comes after Appleton Parish Council objected to plans in February stating that, if approved, the change of use could result in additional traffic and car parking issues, with a possible increase in litter.

The application provoked complaint from one member of the public, who said: "This type of business will attract youth disruption to the now pleasant area."

But Karen said for her, the response has been a positive one and it is up to other shops, as well as her, to be responsible for their litter.

"In terms of parking, most of the people that would likely use the pizzeria would walk here," added Karen.

"A lot of my customers have said that they can home home at night and walk because they live in the vicinity."

It is not yet known when work will begin on the approved development, but it must be started within three years from the date of permission, May 16 and will only be allowed to open for business between 11am and 9pm.