High Street battlelines

PUBLISHED: 17:45 17 January 2008 | UPDATED: 15:38 11 May 2010

PLANNING BID: The shop in question at Angel Pavement in Royston.

PLANNING BID: The shop in question at Angel Pavement in Royston.

BATTLELINES are being drawn in Royston High Street over a controversial planning application. A scheme has been submitted to change the use of an empty shop in Angel Pavement, Royston, into a restaurant. But other restaurants and take-away businesses in R

BATTLELINES are being drawn in Royston High Street over a controversial planning application.

A scheme has been submitted to change the use of an empty shop in Angel Pavement, Royston, into a restaurant.

But other restaurants and take-away businesses in Royston town centre are worried about the impact of such a move.

Jahir Hussain, of the Royal Bengal restaurant in the High Street, led a delegation to protest against the application at a meeting of Royston Town Council's planning committee on Monday evening.

He told councillors: "We do not need any more restaurants.

"As it is at the moment we are only just surviving," he said.

The application has been submitted by planning and development consultants Bradbeer Planning.

But it includes a submission from property agents Lambert Smith Hampton which says that "no retailer is interested in the location".

And it stresses: "If planning consent is not granted the property will remain vacant or be occupied by a retailer who pays no rent or rates for the sale of second-hand goods."

But Cllr Rod Kennedy told members of the planning committee: "Angel Pavement is for retail outlets and it must remain for retail.

"There is potential for the site with a little imagination."

Cllr Kennedy said members had to concentrate on the "specific application" rather than other aspects surrounding the issue.

Cllr Lindsay Davidson said she believed there was "a hidden agenda" over the future of Angel Pavement.

"If we don't allow things to happen in Angel Pavement then it is going to continue to deteriorate," she said.

And the committee was told that town centre manager Geraint Burnell had suggested that the premises could be split between a retail and restaurant use.

It is understood that North Herts District Council believes that converting the shop into a restaurant would see the loss of a prime retail site and went against council planning policy.

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