A BID to open Worcester’s first gin palace on the site of the city’s old Co-Op on Angel Street looks doomed after planning permission for the scheme was rejected.
Planning chiefs at Worcester City Council have delivered the thumbs down to plans by Amber Taverns to open a Hogarth’s Gin Palace on the site.
Amber Taverns had requested to sell alcohol from 10am until late and also to provide music and dance performances.
However the application was dealt an early blow in September when members of the city council’s Licensing Sub-Committee rejected a bid for a licence to serve alcohol on the premises.
Representations were made at the hearing by the applicant, West Mercia Police, public health experts and local residents.
Councillors rejected the bid and highlighted the authority’s policy to refuse new applications in the Culminative Impact Zone, an area which features a high number of premises serving alcohol.
Planning chiefs have now delivered their own verdict and rejected the proposals for a change of use from a retail unit to a public house, with external alterations.
The reasons for refusal included potential harm to the balance of retail and non-retail use in Angel Street.
Officers also expressed concerns an additional drinking establishment would further contribute to disturbances in the area resulting in increased levels of crime and increased fear of crime.
Speaking after the verdict, Coun Lynn Denham, said: “I am pleased to see Hogarth’s Gin Palace will not be coming to Worcester.
“Whilst we would all like to see regeneration and improvements in Angel Street, it needs to be the right offer which will have a positive impact on city life.”