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Planning permission for restaurant (A3)

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The application sought to change the use of an A1 delicatessen to an A3 Cafe/restaurant with a retail element in an affluent suburb of Manchester.

Council

Manchester City Council

Issues

Our client approached us following a  previous application refusal for the change of use. The reason for refusal highlighted the fact that the premises were not located within a local centre thus the change of use would be contrary to the Council’s food and drink policy.

Solutions

It was decided to resubmit the application and provide a more detailed submission that sought to build on the local support for the application.  Support was gained via an in-store petition, a social media petition (involving Facebook and Twitter) and direct contact with neighbouring properties. This resulted in over 400 letters and names of support.  The Council recognised this support and the application was recommended for approval but due to departure from policy the final decision was to be made at Planning Committee.

A prominent MP objected to the proposal, siting amenity problems as the main reasons for the objection.  We presented at committee with counter-arguments to the MP. The Committee members sided with us and the application was approved contrary to the Council’s food and drink policies. The applicant is now able to convert the premises into a restaurant.

This again highlights the importance of stakeholder relations and also proves that material considerations such as overwhelming support for an application, can influence a planning decision.  The Council welcomed this approach and a constant friendly dialogue was maintained throughout  the application process.