A NEW taxi office will open 24 hours a day, seven days a week after getting the green light from Trafford Council's planning committee.

The application to turn an unused commercial unit, previously occupied by Express Water Coolers, into a temporary taxi office, received objections from nearby residents.

Arjun Duggal wants to change 102A, Higher Road, Urmston, into a booking office but reassured residents that it would not be open to the public and would not be a base for drivers.

But residents are not satisfied with Mr Duggal's reassurances and they have objected to the plans, claiming off-street parking is already a ‘nightmare’ and noise from late night revellers would be 'unbearable'.

In one objection letter, resident Justin Annable wrote: “Noise pollution from people throughout the weekend is already a problem.

“They keep residents awake arguing and shouting while they are drunk.

“Having a taxi office so close would increase this.”

Another resident, Janet Belk, raised similar concerns and said a taxi business, whether temporary or permanent, was ‘unwanted’.

Objectors also raised concerns about additional traffic and argued that parked-up taxis would cause ‘disruption’.

The plans have split the community with some 178 people signing a petition supporting the proposal and welcoming the addition of a taxi office to the neighbourhood, saying the service was needed.

Owner Mr Duggal tried to win his opponents over by assuring them that the 24/7 operation would not have a negative impact on residents' lives.

In a planning statement he wrote: “The booking office would not be open to the public nor would it offer a pick-up service.

“In addition, the office would not be used by drivers as a base and all vehicle movements would be minimal.

“However, the office would open 24hrs a day, seven days a week.”

Trafford council planning officers have recommended the plans for approval.

In a statement officers wrote: “Given that the permission would be temporary, officers could add further conditions or fuse planning consent in the future, should concerns arise.

“The proposed development would bring much needed investment to a vacant site within the area.

“The proposal would also bring a vacant site into use and provide local employment opportunities.

“As such it is considered that the proposal represents a sustainable form of development.”

A final decision will be made when the application is discussed at the next planning committee on Thursday, June 10.