New plans to redevelop the site of a Tangmere restaurant have been submitted to Chichester District Council.
Cassons Restaurant, in Tangmere Road off the A27, could be demolished and replaced with an office building and six new ‘starter’ homes.
The planning application for the site is the second that has been lodged by ‘Cass’ and Viv Cassons since the husband and wife team announced their plans to retire and sell up in 2016.
The first scheme, which came after the restaurant attracted little interest on the market, proposed to demolish the building and construct a block of ten flats.
But the application was withdrawn after the council raised several concerns about the plans – including the potential noise impact of the A27 on future residents, the likely impact on trees around the site and the loss of a heritage asset.
Mr Casson said this caused ‘a high degree of frustration’ at the time.
But he said they had taken steps to address the issues raised in the latest application.
Mr Casson said the new homes created would be properties that first time buyers could actually afford.
Chichester faced many challenges when it came to housing, he said, adding: “We seem to have a slight problem in Chichester in terms of housing that people can afford.”
Unlike the previous application, the new proposal includes houses instead of flats – as he said this seemed to be preferred by many first time buyers.
He hopes the scheme would go ‘some small way’ to helping more affordable-priced housing in the district to be built.
“This is a very small development. It’s not going to change the whole housing situation in Chichester,” he said. “But I think it’s important that we are making a statement.”
He added: “It’s a brownfield site, we are not ploughing up farmland.
“We think it ticks a lot of boxes.”
The six new homes would be arranged in two terraces of three houses, which will minimise the impact on existing trees, according to the application.
Updated reports have been submitted as part of the application to address technical issues concerning noise, air quality and ecology.
Mr Casson, 67, who has run the restaurant with his wife for more than 15 years, said they were looking forward to their retirement when the process was finally over.
“We thoroughly enjoy this business and we have such fantastic customers,” he said.
However he said the hospitality environment for the last few years had been a challenging one.
In the meantime, it is business as usual at the restaurant.
He said: “This planning process may take some time.
“It does not affect the on-going Cassons Restaurant business which remains open and will continue to offer some of the best innovative food and service in the area.”
To see the application in full, search reference 19/02386/OUT on Chichester District Council’s planning website.