Major revamp to see listed Whitchurch building turned into coffee shop

The major revamp of a Grade II-listed building in Whitchurch town centre has been approved.

The grade II-listed former pet shop on Whitchurch High Street. Photo: Google
The grade II-listed former pet shop on Whitchurch High Street. Photo: Google

The former pet shop on High Street, Whitchurch, is set to be converted into a coffee shop, with office space and a dance studio in the upper floors.

The plans for the derelict building opposite Whitchurch Civic Centre will create eight full-time jobs.

Planning officer Melanie Durant said: “It is recognised that the building is vacant and its use as a drinking establishment/evening venue would re-introduce an active frontage to this vacant unit.

“It is further recognised that the proposal would not result in an over concentration or undue dominance of non-retail uses at this location as there is a healthy amount of shops and retail outlets located in close proximity to the site.

“Food and drink, and drinking premises are intermingled throughout the area however this does not appear to have been to the detriment of the main shopping area of Whitchurch.”

The plans also includes creating a car park for eight vehicles and two private spaces, which will be accessed from nearby Pepper Street.

Agent Plamena Yotova, on behalf of the applicant, Mr A Halpern, said all works to the building would respect its Grade II status.

She continued: “Sustainable conversions of otherwise empty buildings play an important role in the vitality of town centres such as Whitchurch.

“Currently 40 High Street has been empty for some time and has suffered from lack of care and insufficient maintenance with some parts in a desperate need of structural repairs.

“The redevelopment of the building will provide suitable occupation and will bring significant benefits to the commercial centre of Whitchurch and will enhance the character and overall setting of its historic core.”

A separate application to make external repairs, internal alterations including partitioning wall, plus insertion of windows and a partial replacement roof, have also been approved.

By Emily Lloyd, Local Democracy Reporter

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