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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Store's cafe restriction removed by councillors

A ban on including a café in the new Sainsbury’s food store earmarked for Llangollen has been lifted by Denbighshire’s planning committee.

At their meeting this morning (Wednesday) members followed the advice of county planning chief Graham Boase and voted 21-3 to remove the condition - imposed in September when they approved the scheme - preventing an in-store café when the store is built on the site of the Dobson & Crowther printworks.
Again on the advice of Mr Boase, the committee also voted to remove or vary three other conditions relating to permitted levels of noise from the store site and pedestrian access to it.
When the store was given the go-ahead by the planning committee in the autumn, it was subject to a long list of conditions on what could be included in the building and how it should be allowed to operate.
But agents for the developers recently submitted a fresh application to either remove or vary five of these conditions, which relate to the café, permitted levels of noise and pedestrian access to the site.
White Young Green Planning & Design said the changes are needed to allow the store to operate successfully.

Over 20 objections were received by the council ahead of the new application being considered by the planning committee this morning.

Among those who have declared their opposition are the Town Council and the Civic Society.
The bid to remove the café restriction, which was imposed at the request of local councillors to protect other cafes in the nearby Riverside Park and the town centre, has been the most controversial.
Opponents claim an in-store cafe would damage those already operating in the town.
However, in their submission, Roger Tym & Partners, who have acted as retail consultants on behalf of the county council, say there is “probably no strong basis to condition out a café”.
In recommending that the committee allow the restriction to be removed, Graham Boase said in a report: “Whilst officers consider there are a number of relevant arguments in objection to the variation proposed, the absence of support for a refusal from the retail consultant offers little professional backing for a negative recommendation here, and it is ultimately considered unreasonable to insist on precluding a café use which is now a common facility ancillary to the operation of a modern food store.”
Catherine Veasey, of Llangollen Friends of the Earth, who attended the committee meeting as an observer, told llanblogger immediately after it ended: “The council voted 21 in favour and three against. So the café will now go ahead.
“The only variation opposed was regarding the protocol if noise emissions are breached.”
She added: “Big business wins the day again.
“What frustrates me in relation to the café is that there is legislation there to protect town centres and it just feels like everyone is too scared to use it.”

1 comment:

  1. What a surprise!

    Those of us that feel strongly about the store, and now about the cafe, will just have to make sure we don't use it.

    Support small businesses in Llangollen, and in any other town you happen to visit.