PLANS for a glass extension at a popular city centre restaurant may have to be scrapped after councillors and opponents said it was out of character for the area.
Burgoyne Property Investments wants to expand Bindles Brasserie and Bar in Sidbury, but Worcester City Council’s planning committee decided to defer a decision until their concerns had been dealt with.
Speaking at last Thursday’s (October 23) meeting, Fran Fosh, who has run Charlie’s Café in Sidbury for the past 28 years, said she feared the extension off City Walls Road, may provide a gateway for bigger companies to try and expand nearby.
“There is a great fear that Bindles would become too large and have rental rates which are too high to be leased to a small independent or family business,” she said.
“Should this go ahead there is evidence that businesses will be swallowed up by the one of the multi-nationals, who are waiting for such an opportunity.”
But Phillip Rawle, who was speaking on behalf of the applicant, said he believed it was a “relatively modest extension”, which would provide dining for a further 50 people.
The project also faced strong opposition from some councillors, while the council’s own Conservation Areas Advisory Committee said it would be “visually obtrusive on a major road”.
Coun Robert Rowden said: “With two 600-year-old buildings next to it, is this really the area where we should be approving an to put a glass conservatory along the side of the City Walls Road which will be a distraction for drivers waiting at the lights. My mind boggles by the number of things which are wrong with this.”
The extension would be built on a piece of land which is currently owned by Worcestershire County Council and Coun Lynn Denham, councillor the area, said it would be a huge loss to the city.
“Edgar Street, Charles Café and the Commandery which are all within near this site are absolutely core to the history and values of the city and I think the proposal does nothing to enhance that,” she added.
Coun Lynn Denham called for the application to be refused, but after the committee voted against that decision, the proposals were instead deferred.
Coun Jo Hodges added: “I don’t feel totally against an extension of some sorts on this building, but I am not quite happy about a roof terrace and the sheer size of the extension.
“I think that maybe with some negotiation that can be scaled down and some better provision could put in place for noise insulation.”