TWO new takeaways are to open in St John’s, Worcester – despite concerns the area is already littered with them.

A new pizza parlour is going to be created inside the old Natwest Bank, while the former W Jeynes & Family shop at 41 St John’s is also being turned into a fast food outlet.

The move will mean the St John’s shopping area has 15 takeaways – 16 per cent of the 90 units available.

Under Worcester City Council’s own planning guidance, the number of food and drink outlets should go no higher than 20 per cent.

During a debate at the planning committee, politicians said they were concerned about the number of fast food shops, a lack of parking and the current congestion.

Councillor Derek Prodger said: “I’m surprised the highways department didn’t look at this – at the junction of Swanpool Walk, Malvern Road and Bransford Road, right by Barclays bank, there is already massive congestion, it’s a disaster zone.

“There’s probably 24 new homes on Swanpool Walk today, they’ve all been built in the last two or three years and the congestion is absolutely horrendous.”

Bob Pender, from Worc-estershire’s highways dep-artment, said two new takeaways would “not justify traffic remodelling” in the area.

“It doesn’t warrant refusal on traffic generation grounds,” he said.

Councillor Paul Denham said: “It’s difficult in somewhere like St John’s to keep a different, viable number of retail units there since Sainsbury’s arrived.

“But I would have thought having more takeaways in this area will make that more difficult, not less.

“There seems to be a lot of them already.”

Some other politicians said they could not realistically refuse the bids if it meant the units would remain empty.

Councillor Andy Roberts said: “There is a parking problem because there’s virtually no on-street spaces.

“But I think if we didn’t have takeaways in these areas, there would be empty shops and nobody wants that.”

The takeaway inside the old W Jeynes & Family shop will employ five people, two part-time, and open 9am-10pm Monday to Saturdays.

It will only apply to the rear of the building, facing Swanpole Walk.

The pizza parlour at number 51 St John’s, the former Natwest bank, will employ six staff, three part-time, and open from 4.30pm-11pm daily.

Neither site will offer parking, but customers can use the Sainsbury’s car park, which is available to the general public for a maximum of two hours.

It was voted through by everyone apart from Coun Prodger.