Vacant Chichester shop granted permission to become a cafe

Permission has been granted for a vacant retail space in Chichester city centre to be used as a cafe or coffee bar.

Monday, 9th September 2019, 1:14 pm
Market Road in Chichester. Photo: Google Streetview

The ground floor space at 13 Market Road was previously home to the Riders’ Guild bike shop, until it announced in June it was shutting its doors ‘with a heavy heart’ – read more here.Prior approval has now been granted by Chichester District Council for the space to be used as a cafe or coffee bar.

The permitted opening hours stipulated by the council are between 8am to 8pm.

No extraction equipment can be installed at the premises without planning permission, the council has said.

Market Road in Chichester. Photo: Google Streetview

‘Minor alterations’ could be made to the shop front and internal layout of the space.

In planning documents submitted to the council, the applicant had argued that permitting a change of use at the unit would offer the commercial market more ‘flexibility’ in securing a new tenant, making it more likely that the vacant shop could be brought back into use.

The applicant said: “The number of vacant units has steadily risen within the city centre to a level which is detrimental to the character of the Conservation Area, having a serious impact on the vitality of the city centre.”

Allowing the shop to become a cafe would not impact the sustainability of the shopping area within the city centre, according to the applicant.

Council records show the amount of non-retail uses within the Secondary Shopping Frontage is at 53.38 per cent, the applicant said, which it said is ‘significantly below’ the 75 per cent identified as the maximum figure allowed in non-retail use.