Royston 'on the up' says restaurateur

PUBLISHED: 09:33 28 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:15 11 May 2010

A RESTAURATEUR hopes to open up a new outlet in Royston because she believes the town is on the up . A change of use application to convert the Old Court House in Fish Hill from offices to a restaurant has been submitted to North Herts District Council.

A RESTAURATEUR hopes to open up a new outlet in Royston because she believes the town is "on the up".

A change of use application to convert the Old Court House in Fish Hill from offices to a restaurant has been submitted to North Herts District Council.

Applicant Emma Langmaid owns fine dining restaurant Dish in Saffron Walden, and told the Crow that she believes Royston is the ideal place to open a new branch.

She said: "We think this would be a great move for us. Royston is definitely a town on the up, and the building itself is really beautiful.

"We're hopeful of getting planning permission so we can open up as soon as possible."

The old court house is currently occupied by an insurance firm, which is due to vacate the building in March.

Three downlighters would be installed outside as part of the application, with two signs also being erected.

Another premises in the town, the empty shop at 47 - 49 High Street, could also become a restaurant or café.

The shop, which is a grade two listed building, has been vacant for more than three years, and a planning statement on behalf of applicants A. Hoffman and K. Lauder said attempts to fill it with a new retailer had so far been fruitless.

It said: "Despite marketing undertaken by [estate agents] Tomlinson and Quin, no interest has been shown with regards to using the unit for retail purposes.

"Other than one party, Tomlinson Quin have had no meaningful interest for class A1 retail use. However there has been a constant stream of interested parties who require class A3, A4, or A5 use."

The application also notes that retail in Royston is generally "very weak and in decline" and suggests that anyone opening a shop would be more likely to approach one of the other, better placed, empty buildings

Both sets of plans can be viewed on the North Herts District Council website, www.north-herts.gov.uk

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