Changes brew­ing – coffee shop wants spot on Prom

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS -

» CAFFE Nero wants to move into the former L.K. Ben­nett shop site in Chel­tenham’s Prom­e­nade, ac­cord­ing to plans sub­mit­ted to the bor­ough coun­cil.

A plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion has been lodged with the au­thor­ity to change the use of the large unit that was oc­cu­pied by the women’s cloth­ing chain un­til last month. It is on the cor­ner of Prom­e­nade and Im­pe­rial Square.

The plans have been sub­mit­ted by plan­ning agent Brian Madge.

In his re­port within the ap­pli­ca­tion, he said the Euro­pean-style coffee house brand’s pres­ence in the two-storey Grade Ii-listed build­ing would “en­hance” the area.

He said: “The pres­ence of a Caffe Nero in this shop­ping street will help to main­tain the centre’s vi­a­bil­ity by en­abling cus­tomers to stay longer and pro­mote shop­ping as a leisure ac­tiv­ity.

“It en­hances rather than dam­ages vi­tal­ity and vi­a­bil­ity.

“Coffee shops in gen­eral as­sist to re­in­force re­tail vi­tal­ity of shop­ping frontages, as well as re­duc­ing va­cancy rates of re­tail premises. Lo­cat­ing a Caffe Nero in this shop­ping street will have no harm­ful ef­fect on ei­ther nearby res­i­dent or em­ploy­ment amenity.

“It pro­vides an at­trac­tive en­vi­ron­ment to take a rest and re­lax while shop­ping which is ac­ces­si­ble to all mem­bers of the com­mu­nity.”

Caffe Nero al­ready has two coffee shops in Chel­tenham, in High Street and in­side Cavendish House in Prom­e­nade.

In April, it was re­ported that L.K. Ben­nett had been bought out of ad­min­is­tra­tion, sav­ing 325 jobs.

But it was said that 15 of the re­tailer’s stores were not in­cluded in the deal and would close, lead­ing to the loss of 110 jobs. L.K. Ben­nett was said to have been bought by By­land UK, which was set up by Rebecca Feng, who runs the com­pany’s Chi­nese fran­chises.

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