Published: 08:50, 31 August 2017
The former Currys electrical store in Canterbury is set to become a restaurant.
The Longmarket premises will be divided into two shops – with one of them becoming an eatery –if planning permission is granted by the council.
The site has been empty since early last year but the restaurant plans have attracted some opposition from residents.
CBRE Planning, which has lodged the plans, says it is open to keeping a retail unit as part of the subdividing process in order to "drive more footfall to Burgate".
According to Canterbury City Council’s planning and regeneration department, the splitting of the site could tempt smaller retailers to the area due to the reduced rent on a smaller shop.
A report states: “The applicant’s marketing report did refer to retail inquiries which had stated that the building in its current form was too large and therefore too expensive.
"This suggests that a smaller unit in this location may be more attractive to their requirements. In our view a subdivided property is more likely to appeal to smaller retailers."
The restaurant entrance would be via the old Currys doorway on the corner of Longmarket and Burgate, with a new shop entrance being created in Longmarket.
The applicants have not yet stated what kind of food will be served but residents have lodged complaints over the proposals. The majority focus on the potential rise of anti-social behaviour and the impact of increased night time trade.
Efrosyi Boutsikas, who lives above the affected area, said: "This area is already saturated with food and drink outlets, what is needed are more retail outlets. The adverse effects to residential amenity from increased late-night noise, makes this an unsuitable premises for this kind of venture."
The planning statement makes clear there will be no outside seating and steps will be taken to keep disturbances to a minimum.
The plan says: "While the proposed restaurant use will result in some increase in evening activity, we do not think this will be significant enough to have an adverse impact on residential amenity.
“The restaurant tenants have not yet been confirmed and, therefore, details of ventilation and extraction equipment, storage and waste, and servicing and delivery arrangements have not been finalised."
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