Resort in coffee shop row
OWNERS of a coffee shop, which angered other traders by saying it did not need permission to open, have backed down and submitted a planning application .
OWNERS of a coffee shop, which angered other traders by saying it did not need permission to open, have backed down and submitted a planning application . . . four months after opening.
The management of Puccino's in Felixstowe town centre insisted that it did not need consent when it opened in the summer.
Planners though said it needed change of use permission for its premises, while businesses nearby expressed concern at the area being saturated with food outlets and started a petition against the rule-breaking coffee house.
But now Puccino's has asked for consent – and councillors could turn it down and force it to close, though such an outcome is thought unlikely.
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The change of use though is against policy for the stretch of Hamilton Road between Boots and Bank Corner, where the local plan states that efforts to change retail shops to non-shopping outlets will not be permitted.
The aim of this is to provide a compact and attractive shopping area – and one which can one day be pedestrianised.
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A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal council said the application would come before councillors either in December or January.
"After lengthy and detailed discussions, Puccino's has applied for a change of use for their Felixstowe outlet to change it from a shop classification to an 'A3' use more traditionally viewed as necessary for food premises," he said.
Enforcement officers at the council had monitored the coffee shop since it opened and decided it was "unauthorised use".
They felt the planning application was definitely required if Puccino's was to be allowed to continue trading.
Puccino's told the council it did not feel the change of use was necessary because it was will mostly providing takeaway food and drink which involves no cooking.
Andrew Sanders, marketing director of Puccino's, said the Felixstowe shop had the same type of planning permission that covered other major coffee shops in the UK.
The company hoped its shop would help pull more people into the town centre, as the café culture has elsewhere in the country, and benefit other shops.