This vacant shop in Chichester could become a cafe

A developer is seeking permission to use a vacant retail space in Chichester city centre as a cafe or coffee bar.

Thursday, 1st August 2019, 1:42 pm

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.

Developers have now submitted a notification of prior approval seeking permission for the unit to be used as a cafe/coffee bar, with minimal hot food offerings and opening hours of 8am to 8pm.

This could involve ‘minor alterations’ to shop front and internal layout of the space.

Market Road in Chichester. Photo: Google Streetview

The applicant has 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.

In planning documents submitted to Chichester District Council, 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, the applicant said,

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

View the plans in full by searching 19/01785/PA3C on Chichester District Council’s planning website.