Consent has been granted to change the use of the former Julian Graves shop in Helston’s Meneage Street, despite objections from neighbouring residents, business owners and the town council.
The approved application was for the change of use of the ground floor of the premises from A1, retail, to A2 and A3 use - professional and financial services and restaurants or cafés. The former shop has lain empty for two years.
Vickery Holman Property Consultants had said: “This proposal is hoped to attract new interest in the potential use of the property and bring the listed building back into use so it can be continually looked after while also helping to prevent the gradual decline in the listed building features.”
The application, though, had attracted opposition from some residents concerned about smells and noise that may accompany a restaurant/cafe. Helston Town Council also recommended the application be refused.
Cornwall Council case officer, Catherine Bray, did not agree. “The principle of allowing A2 and A3 uses within this location is considered acceptable within the town centre location and would be compatible with its surroundings,” she said.
“Uses A2 and A3 would provide either the option for professional and financial services or restaurants or cafés, which will help to contribute to the strength of the town which has suffered the loss of businesses over the years.
“But in an attempt to bring another vacant building back into use it is important to offer different uses of the building which will still attract people into the town centre.
“If granted permission for A2 or A3, there is still an option to keep it for A1 use if required or it can be changed back without the need for separate planning permission.
“Concerns have been raised from the occupiers of neighbouring properties with regards to noise and smell concerns if the premises were to be used for a restaurant or café. As it stands it would be preferential to retain the retail use but it has been demonstrated that there is not enough interest in this size property to be used as a retail unit at present.
“The use of the building as a restaurant is a normal use you would expect to see within the town centre, and although the opening a hours would be longer a residence in this location would be expected to experience higher levels of noise in this location.
Environmental health would be involved if noise or smell issues were to become a severe problem.”