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City restaurant bid recommended despite residents’ opposition
6:00am Wednesday 7th May 2014 in News
OXFORD City Council will tonight decide whether to allow another restaurant on the corner of Little Clarendon Street and Walton Street.
Shirehall Properties Ltd has applied to change the use of three shops into a restaurant or cafe.
The ground-floor premises are part of a four-storey building, which has student accommodation above.
They have not been built as three separate shops, but are at present one large unoccupied unit with entrances on both roads.
Shirehall Properties is advertising the unit to businesses, marketing it as a space for a restaurant.
But some believe there are already too many restaurants in the area, and a large business will put added pressure on existing traders.
In its submission to the city council, the St John Street Area Residents’ Association said: “We would strongly object to the loss of small-scale units and the creation of a further large unit.
“This would change forever the scale and feel of all retail or other units in the whole of Walton Street.
“This amalgamation would also put the rents of such larger units beyond the reach of small local businesses.”
But planning officers are recommending that the west area planning committee approve the changes at tonight’s meeting.
The committee report said: “The proposed change of use will not have a detrimental effect on the vitality or character of the area.
“The creation of a restaurant or cafe in this location is entirely in keeping with the existing mixed character of the area and its night-time economy.”
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