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News - 13 April 2003

Concern over Creeping Cafe Syndrome

There is concern from a number of interested parties about the rate at which A1 (shop) premises are metamorphosing into cafes without planning permission for change of use to A3 (cafes, bars & restaurants). Part of the problem is that take away food outlets can operate under an A1 use class but a cafe requires A3 consent. Obviously there is a thin dividing line between the two.

The new Local Plan states that no more than 25% of a retail street in the core city centre can be non-retail frontage which would include cafes, bars and restaurants as well as offices and banks. The Council's decision to deny planning consent for a change of use to A3 for a shop in Gardner Street was upheld at appeal by the planning inspector on the grounds that it would be detrimental to the character of the North Laine area. Meanwhile the former retail outlet Artworker in Kensington Gardens has become a food outlet called Ekos and the local authority are investigating whether it requires an application for change of use. Similarly the Cornish Pasty Shop in Duke Street (formerly fashion retailer Fat face) is operating from an A1 use and may need to apply for retrospective planning permission.

Click on download below for a chart showing the retail mix in Brighton city centre (pdf file 6KB)

Click here to download


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