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Council puts lid on coffee shop’s plans
2:48pm Friday 21st September 2012 in Romsey
A COFFEE shop is to remain closed for the foreseeable future after its owner was denied planning consent.
Owner of the Courtyard Coffee House, Debbie Babidge, had hoped to turn the business into a restaurant with a takeaway.
However, with permission for a change of use refused, she said the business was not viable in its current form, but she may appeal Test Valley Borough Council’s decision.
The coffee shop, which has been running for the last six years, has been closed since August 25.
A planning application was made to Test Valley Borough Council with a view to using the Courtyard Coffee House to provide a hot food takeaway service.
Because this affected the building’s exterior, a listed building consent was also needed for the Grade II property, in The Hundred.
The proposal was to change the ground floor of the coffee house to incorporate a hot food takeaway and to transform the first floor from a public meeting room to additional seating.
A new extraction fan system would be needed for the kitchen with a two-metre high chimney flue, which would have extended from the rear kitchen roof.
Although the Southern Area Planning Committee approved the listed building consent with conditions, they refused the planning application itself.
Four residents wrote letters of objection to the council raising concerns over possible noise problems and people parking to collect takeaways.
It is understood that the decision to refuse was made over concerns that the takeaway would cause disturbance to local residents, though Mrs Babidge pointed out there were already takeaways very close by.
Mrs Babidge, who owns the building, said she was disappointed by the decision.
She said she wanted to make a change of direction, with too many coffee shops already in competition in Romsey.