BY RICHARD CORNWELL
Thursday, December 6, 2012
TWENTY new full-time jobs will be created if permission is granted to turn a former furniture store in Felixstowe town centre into an upmarket Italian restaurant.
Prezzo, which has 160 venues around the UK, is seeking consent to open in the old Candlers store in Hamilton Road.
It would create a restaurant for 110 people on the ground floor, 44 upstairs, and a small courtyard seating area for fine weather.
Suffolk Coastal council is carrying out consultation on the proposed change of use and expected to make a decision in the new year.
The site, one of the largest in the town centre, has been in use for retail for 100 years, but is well away from the main shopping area – Boots to Bank Corner – where councillors have been keen to take a stand to protect shops from being lost.
Pegasus Planning Group, acting on behalf of Prezzo plc, said the change of use would bring an empty building back into use and provide employment for local people, enhancing economic growth.
“The introduction of a vibrant restaurant such as Prezzo will create an increase in footfall as well as creating new jobs and enhancing the vitality and viability of Felixstowe town centre,” said the company.
“Prezzo is a well-known restaurant brand which is open during the day, as well as into the evening. As such, the proposed new use will present a lively use, which will enhance the active frontage of Hamilton Road.
“Furthermore, by the nature of the use proposed, this activity will be extended into the early evening, thus helping to benefit the vitality and viability of the evening economy of Felixstowe as a whole. As such, the proposal will have a positive impact on vitality and viability.”
The project will also involve adding a small flat-roofed extension at the rear.