PLANS have been approved for a cake-making business and cafe to open in a boarded-up former grocery store.

The businesswoman, Ms Beauchamp of Middleton St George, told a Darlington Borough Council planning meeting of how she wanted to transform 15 Station Terrace, in the village from an empty boarded up grocery shop into a business specialising in sweet treats.

The plan is to turn the downstairs into a shop and cafe and the upstairs into a kitchen preparation space.

Ms Beauchamp said: “It’s an ugly boarded-up eyesore and it’s actually one of the first properties seen when entering the village.”

There are also plans to hold children’s cake-making parties from the shop/cafe as well.

A resident of Station Terrace, who has lived in her house for 17 years and objected to the proposals, said: “These houses were built in 1875 and the walls are very thin.

“I’m concerned about noise.

“We will hear the sound of kitchen equipment as the proposed kitchen area is next-door to our bedroom and we will hear the noise of cutlery and crockery all day long.

“I’m also concerned about the backyard being used as a smoking area for staff.”

Ms Beauchamp said she “wouldn’t be using industrial kitchen equipment, just normal household kitchen appliances”.

Councillor Doris Jones asked the resident: “When you moved into your house, did you expect the empty shop next-door to never be used again?”

She replied: “No not all but it isn’t the shop itself I have a problem with, it’s the cafe and planned kitchen space.”

Ms Beauchamp said: “I wouldn’t be making cakes really early in the morning, that’s not the kind of business it will be.”

Councillor Gerald Lee remarked how even though Ms Beauchamp admitted to being nervous before reading her statement of plans, she came across very confidently.

The proposed opening times for the business would be 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on weekends and bank holidays.

The resident said she would be happier if the opening hours were reduced through the week with the shop being closed at weekends. Councillors voted unanimously in favour of Ms Beauchamp’s proposals and the planning application was approved.