WORK to expand a popular town centre restaurant is under way.

Owners of The Exchange were given the green light to go ahead with their plans for the premises after making an appeal.

Business partners Billy Bateman and Thomas McKendry say the move will create more than 20 new jobs.

The pair had been turned down by planning chiefs on the grounds of road safety but this decision was overturned by councillors at a meeting of the local review body.

The pair under their Reos Ltd firm had bought the former Dockers Club next door to the restaurant and wanted to extend into the car park but the proposal was rejected by planning chiefs in January.

The applicants, argued that the application was rejected without notice and made an appeal to the review body.

They said the Dockers car park was for staff use only and was gated and locked most times and servicing would no longer be via the car park.

They also highlighted that larger premises would create an additional 20-plus jobs.

The application was passed unanimously by the committee with conditions attached, included examples of facing materials being submitted along with details of bin stores and refuse collection arrangements.