There could be a new life in store for the prominent black and white building in the heart of Brackley after planners agreed it could be turned into a restaurant.
The building perched on the corner of Bridge Street and Banbury Road, which is part of the conservation area, has been empty since 2008 and was last occupied by an RSPCA charity shop.
Before that it was occupied for 22 years by GM Lawrence Furnishing, who expanded to a site on the Buckingham Road industrial estate in 2005.
Working on behalf of Chinese restaurant owner Ken Shing, Tamworth based planning consultants Price Planning Associates gained permission to convert the ground floor into a restaurant with a new extension at the rear.
Planners also approved proposals to turn the first floor into a pair of two bedroom flats, separate from the restaurant.
Recommending the application for approval South Northants Council planning officers said there would be no adverse affects in terms of noise and smells to nearby properties, and that minimal changes to the front of the building would not damage its appearance.
They added: “Given the nature of the proposed business and the circumstances of this site it is considered that the use of this unit as a restaurant would aid the vitality and vibrancy of Brackley.”
Planning consultant Sally Price said previous permission to turn the building into a restaurant with staff flats above had fallen by the wayside due to the recession, but the new permission with separate flats could see the plans pushed forward.
Mrs Price said: “The application has taken some time to determine, but the owner is planning to at least do the flat conversion initially and presumably that will fund the conversion work to the restaurant.”
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