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Whitstable wine bar plans for DIY store in Harbour Street approved

A bid to transform a former DIY store into a wine bar has been given the green light.

The former Harry & Co hardware shop at 42 Harbour Street, Whitstable, has sat empty since the store closed - but it is now set for a dramatic revamp.

The former Harry & Co store in Harbour Street. Picture: Google Street View
The former Harry & Co store in Harbour Street. Picture: Google Street View

City council planning officers approved the application to change the building’s use, meaning it will now join the dozens of bars and eateries already in the centre of town.

The site is based next to the Birdies restaurant, with a public car park at the back of the premises.

A planning officer stated the proposals would “add to the vitality and viability” of the town centre.

They also said given retail had been largely retained within the area, it was not considered it would create an “over-concentration” of the proposed use.

The building is a Victorian terrace and is currently shut, with the vacant property in desperate need of major makeover.

Inside the former DIY store. Picture: design i.d
Inside the former DIY store. Picture: design i.d

The application revealed plans to convert the building so it can start serving food and snacks as well as booze in the popular location.

The proposals submitted to the city council on August 25 include providing rear access into the first floor accommodation above via a new outside staircase.

There are also plans to demolish the existing metal shed at the back and replace it with a new brick toilet block.

Other changes include extending the existing flat roof to increase the floor space for customers.

The application states: “The proposals will make the property more viable as a hospitality unit and will make good use of the land available.”

The applicants say they are confident the venture does not appear to undermine any local planning policies and that they feel the bid is “in keeping with its surroundings”.

Details of how many staff will be hired, the name of the new wine bar and the opening times of the business have not yet been revealed.

Read more: All the latest news from Whitstable

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