A LEADING pizza takeaway chain will soon be on the menu at a vacant café in the Borders.

The Almond Tree Cafe, a pioneering Borders community facility which supported more than 150 vulnerable people over eight years, ceased trading at the end of last year.

The decision to close the outlet at 71 High Street was taken with great reluctance by trustees of the charity at an Extraordinary Meeting on Monday, November 28.

Now Wolverhampton-based DPSK Ltd, the operators of Domino’s Pizza chain, has been granted planning approval from Scottish Borders Council (SBC) to trade from the premises.

The application included a report on the proposed ventilation system that would be installed at the premises.

The report say the operation would produce approximately 100 meals on average per day.

Hawick Community Council (HCC) members had concerns about the pizza takeaway bid but did not make a formal objection to it.

A spokesperson said: “Whilst in principle HCC supports this application in that it would fill one of the many empty shops in our High Street, there are concerns that this is adding to three takeaways already in that near vicinity.

“There are also concerns regarding parking, and we would want there to be a stipulation that cleaning and clearing of the area outside is a must. HCC already has concerns with conditions on our High Street, and do not want this takeaway to further add to debris.”

In his report approving the application, SBC planning officer Stuart Small says: “Other hot food takeaways are present within immediate vicinity and the addition of one at this location is not considered to undermine the character and amenity of the town centre.

“Policies support the reuse of vacant and empty buildings and given the proposed property’s vacancy, the proposal offers a suitable reuse of the building under an appropriate town centre use. The principle of development is therefore considered to be acceptable.”

US-founded pizza powerhouse Domino’s operates a total of almost 20,000 restaurants worldwide.

Today, there are more than 1,200 Domino’s stores across the UK and Republic of Ireland, delivering more than 106 million hand-crafted pizzas a year.

Domino’s currently has an outlet in Channel Street, Galashiels.