By Richard Evans
A Llangollen antique shop was granted permission to diversify and sell drinks and snacks, despite opposition from the town council.
Mrs S. Norcross applied to Denbighshire County Council, seeking permission for a change of use from shop to coffee shop at 42 Market Street, Llangollen.
The property is currently operating as a shop, Forty-Two Antiques Bazaar, selling antique goods and some other associated items.
But the applicant wanted to diversify, using an existing kitchen and counter for the sale of drinks and snacks within the existing floor space.
The plans detailed a layout of two small tables within this area.
But members of Llangollen Town Council objected to the plans, arguing that the application was unacceptable.
In a letter to Denbighshire, the town council quoted research undertaken as part of a place plan for Llangollen.
The research, the town council said, showed that 48% of properties in the town were either food outlets or takeaways, and town councillors argued residents wanted a diverse range of shops and food outlets toensure the town was balanced.
Consequently, they said the planning application would not enhance the vitality and viability of the town centre and would instead exacerbate the current situation, resulting in an unacceptable imbalance of retail and non-retail uses.
Cllr Gareth Sandilands, though, worried about fire regulations in a cramped space.
“I recognise that it is great to have a business that is diversifying,” he said.
“But my point of view is will it be a very busy environment in a small, concise area?”
He then asked for clarification on the fire regulations but was informed by planning officers that it was a matter for building regulations and not planning.
But following officers’ advice, Cllr Peter Scott proposed that councillors backed the plans, and the committee voted in favour of the application with one vote against and one abstention.