The applicant said it had been difficult to find users and the only way was to subdivide it to get the widest possible usage. He said the planning permission granted in 2008 for an A4 use was vital as it affected their ability to raise funds for redevelopment which would be needed to refurbish the building. Mr. Long said it has a prominent position, but it was difficult in a recession as banks would only support tenants with cash in the bank and a high street trading record. They were restricted by their ability to raised funds. If the A4 usage was taken away from the corner overlooking Telegraph Road then it would limit their ability to find tenants. They had the support of a bank for the capital required and were engaging in a marketing project. They didn’t want to restrict the scope of tenants. The problem was if they failed to get A4 use they could lose prospective tenants and financial support. The building was in a “sorry state” and he was aware of the objections of the petitioners around distance and location. He said the bar was designed to face Telegraph Road which was in a prominent position in the main shopping centre. Mr. Long asked the Planning Committee for continued A4 use and thanked them for their time.
Cllr David Elderton asked if there was any ward councillor? There wasn’t. He asked the officers to answer the issue raised by the petitioner in Supplementary Planning Document 3 about the forty metres separation distance being reduced down to seventeen metres and whether this was acceptable.