Could more restaurants come to Chichester’s South Street?

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AS ANOTHER restaurant chain opens in South Street following a lengthy battle with the district council, two more are bidding to open.

Following Wagamama’s opening on January 13, after initially being refused planning permission by Chichester District Council, a chain called Wildwood could be coming to Chichester.

The franchise, which specialises in grills, stone-baked pizza and freshly-prepared pastas, has submitted a planning application for 51a South Street.

Formerly home to Solutions Inc, which is now based at 73 South Street, the unit has temporarily been home to a gift shop – All Wrapped Up.

Last year, a planning inspector upheld Wagamama’s appeal to the district council’s refusal, saying the unit had been marketed as a retail unit and received no offers so it was better for it to be opened as a restaurant than left standing empty.

As well as the Wildwood bid, an unknown ‘high-end cafe’ has also put in a similar application for 33 South Street.

According to Wildwood’s design and access statement, the company would primarily use the ground floor as a burger bar, with separate dining rooms on the first floor.

It would be open from mid-morning to around 11pm.

“Typically the restaurant use will generate 20 full and part-time jobs and comprise fully skilled and semi-skilled positions,” it said in its application.

“It will also provide an outlet for locally-grown produce used in the creation of meals.

“This local sourcing will be of benefit to local suppliers and traders.”

Wagamama was initially refused as it meant there was 15m of ‘non-retail frontage’ in South Street, because of its location next to Pizza Express. This is not an issue for Wildwood’s application, as it does not have a restaurant on either side.

Currently, it is sandwiched between a travel agent and a children’s clothes shop.

According to the application, the change of use and subsequent changes to the internal layout would not affect the architectural and historic features of the ground and first floors, including connecting staircases, original fireplaces and panelling to a first-floor room.