Members voted to approve the change of use of a former Bank to a new Costa Coffee shop in a prominent and highly sensitive town centre location.
The site lies within Emsworth’s Town Centre Conservation Area and Chichester Harbour AONB. It is adjacent to a listed building and has residential units occupying the floors above.
Walsingham Planning overcame these sensitivities, working with the Applicant and Architect, to provide an appropriate shopfront and signage scheme. Sufficient sound insulation details were submitted with the application to appease any neighbour concerns and avoid the requirement for pre-commencement or pre-use conditions.
During the course of the application, we overcame significant and strong local opposition, including 111 objection letters, a petition and concerns from the Council that the introduction of a nationally branded coffee shop would harm existing independent businesses.
Through formal correspondence addressing the objections and regular discussions with the Planning Case Officer, it was successfully agreed that, along with other benefits, the Costa Coffee shop would provide a different product to the existing Cafes and Coffee Shops and would help draw people into Emsworth Town Centre, such that a recommendation for approval was presented at Committee.
Walsingham Planning again presented its case to Members at the Planning Committee who voted to grant planning permission and advertisement consent.