Councillors consider new plans for coffee shop outlets
COFFEE was the talk of the town hall at the last meeting of Wells planners.
That Costa is trying to come to come to the city is well known but one other potential cafe could come as a surprise.
An application has been made to change number 2 Town Hall Buildings from a residential property to one that can serve food and drink on the premises.
The house, which is near the public toilets by the side of the town hall, belonged to the council until 2011 when it was sold for around £300,000.
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That the 18th century house could now become a cafe raised a few eyebrows at the city council's planning committee.
Councillor Norman Kennedy said: "This is probably the most important application for change of use we have had in a long time.
"It's a residential property in a residential area. It's outside of the retail area and while there are properties available on the High Street there is no way we should approve this."
Councillor Maureen Brandon shared his opinion: "It's in a conservation area and would change the whole aspect of the area. It's totally inappropriate."
The committee voted unanimously to recommend rejection of the scheme though they weren't finished disapproving of cafes for the evening.
Costa Coffee has submitted further plans for opening in Wells.
The coffee giant has put in two further planning applications for the former Stead & Simpson store on the High Street.
Even though its initial application for change of use has not yet been approved by Mendip District Council and the city council recommened refusal, Costa has submitted plans for the shop front and advertising signs.
Councillors were not impressed that the new applications were in before a decision had been taken on the first one.
Councillor John Parkes said: "Is this some sort of ploy? It worries me that they've submitted other plans when we turned the other one down."
Mr Kennedy said: "It's not been granted yet. I think it's inappropriate to consider this when we turned the other one down."
Councillor Alison Gibson said: "This is a premature application. Can we turn it down seeing as the other application hasn't been approved?"
The committee recommended that the plans were rejected.
When it came to putting down reasons chairman David Anderson said: "A premature application. Put that down and see what they say."