Plans for new café in Chichester to be resubmitted

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Plans to replace a vacant Chichester shop with a new café are set to be resubmitted — this time without proposed changes to the structure of the Grade II listed building.

An application (19/00862/LBC), submitted in March this year, proposed that Loco café be brought in at vacant and listed building 9 St Pancras, which was last used as delivery pizza takeaway shop Heamoor Pizza four years ago. It came as an amendment to a previous application for a seafood and grilled steak restaurant to move into the site in 2017.

The design and access statement, submitted by agent Farhad Aarabi on behalf of the applicant, said the proposed café will create jobs and provide a 'very suitable place to socialise'. Read more here
However, in the latest planning document, Chichester District Council planning officer Maria Tomlinson raised concerns about plans to alter the structure of the listed building. Although, she did reveal the 'principle' of the change of use application was 'considered capable' of receiving officer support.

She wrote: "The timber structure/extension to the rear of the site is not of a sympathetic design quality and appearance in this context. The building is Grade II listed [and] adjoins other listed buildings within the Chichester Conservation Area and therefore affords special protection."

Ms Tomlinson also advised that the already existing flue would not be 'capable of receiving officer support' as it has a 'harmful impact on neighbouring properties'. In addition, she confirmed that the existing extractor fan must not be used or modified without approval from the council.

She went on to say she would recommend approval for the application, if it was altered to a 'change of use only', which 'would not require listed building consent'.

She added: "This would not approve any extension, flue or works to the fabric of the building."

Mr Aarabi subsequently agreed to withdraw the application and resubmit it with the aforementioned conditions.