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Darlington taxi company office plans approved
PLANS have been approved to transform a former Darlington debt collection office into a taxi company headquarters, despite residents’ fears the move will cause a rise in anti-social behaviour.
1AB Taxis applied to take over the Philips building, in Telford House, Garden Street, to use it as a call centre and office for the distribution of taxis across Darlington.
The company, which has a fleet of 76 vehicles, also asked to use the premises as a drop-in office for casual customers to pick up a taxi.
However, the plans which went before Darlington Borough Council’s planning committee, were criticised by residents, who were worried over a potential increase in anti-social behaviour when drinkers looked to catch a taxi as they left The Hub club, in Gladstone Street.
People were also worried about taxis taking up parking spaces in Garden Street and the company using an adjoining car park as a yard for repairing cars.
However, John Bainbridge, from 1AB Taxis, said: “It is not our intention to use the car park for vehicle repairs, and it is in our best interests to keep the wheels moving rather than parking up and waiting.
“Walk-in fares make up only a small fraction of our business, the rest is pre-dominantly contract and call work.
"We don’t want to upset residents.”
Councillors approved the plans, but added the stipulation that the public will not be allowed access to the offices to get a taxi between 10pm and 7am.