Strong support for plans to bring micropub into Chichester

A well-supported application for an independent micropub to replace a vacant vintage clothing shop in Chichester could soon be decided by the district council planning committee.

Friday, 2nd August 2019, 5:22 pm
Crane Street, Chichester. Photo: Google Street View

The proposal (19/01192/FUL) requests the change of use of 9 Crane Street from a retail unit to a drinking establishment, which would be named The Escapist. Read more here

The micropub would move into the site previously used by the One Legged Jockey, which closed in December 2017. The applicant, Thomas Owen, said the aim is to 'change the underutilised retail space into a small welcoming independent micropub'.

The application has received 14 letters and comments of support and just four objections, albeit one of those was made by Chichester City Council.

The micropub would move into the sitepreviously used by the One Legged Jockey, which closed in December 2017.

Citing its reason for the objection, the city council wrote: "Non-retail uses in the city centre already exceed the 25 per cent threshold and further non-retail changes of use would harm the viability and vitality of the city centre contrary to Policy 27 of the Local Plan."

In response, John-Henry Bowden, district councillor for Chichester West, called in the application for a planning committee decision (red card procedure).

He wrote: "The city council followed the officer's advice in objecting to this application according to Local Plan policy, but members were keenly aware that conditions in retail, and in the Chichester High Street have moved rapidly since the current policy was set, and that it is currently subject to review.

"Therefore this application merits further consideration at district planning committee."

Among the residents and businesses to offer support to the plans was the Chichester BID.

It wrote: "We feel that the addition of this new business will add to Crane Street's retail and hospitality offering, increasing its appeal to the public and therefore supporting footfall to neighbouring businesses.

"This new independent venture will assist Chichester's night time economy by adding another specialist drinking establishment to the mix. We encourage the occupation of vacant shops such as 9 Crane Street by relevant new businesses that will add interest to the street, and compliment the existing offering."

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