Call for support from the manager of the popular Chelmsford restaurant as the restaurant faces a third demolition offer this year

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The owner of a popular Chelmsford restaurant threatened with demolition for the third time this year is calling on her customers to “get behind her” and help push back the demolition for good.

Jane Grogan, manager of Back Inn Time, said she needed the support of her customers as plans were submitted for the third time this year to demolish the downtown restaurant for apartments and commercial space.

The demolition offer comes just a month after Chelmsford City Council turned down the developers’ second attempt to obtain a building permit to redevelop the site.

Read more: What every town in Essex needs over the next five years

The developers have also told the authority that they will appeal the earlier decision to deny the building permit for the redevelopment of 13 Cottage Place.

There was a surge of support for the American themed restaurant after plans reappeared in May to demolish the restaurant, and Ms Grogan is appealing for the same level of support this time around.

She said: “I hope this will be the lucky third time and again we have to get our customers behind us.”

It is not yet clear what the authority’s planning officers are doing with the most recent plans.

What happened when the request was last denied?

In its refusal in July, the city council stressed that the proposed apartments would be overlooked by existing neighboring properties, failing to provide the occupants of the proposed apartment with “adequate privacy and living environment”.

The revised proposal includes 1.8m high privacy screens on the west side of the rear balcony to provide privacy and protection for residents and to focus their views to the south.

Ms Grogan said: “The residents only have a very small apartment each with a small balcony and they will put privacy glass in the windows overlooked by the office buildings and a 1.8m barrier on their balcony.

“As soon as I read this, I thought my God was not good for people’s sanity.

“The whole premise of this planned development is very insular.”

The second ground for refusal was that the site was in an “area of ​​influence” identified by natural England for likely significant effects on the Blackwater Estuary Special Protection Area.

The denial indicated that the request did not provide information to “exclude or mitigate the likely significant effects on the Blackwater Estuary”.

Ms Grogan added: “The way it’s laid out at the moment is that all the balconies are all overlooked by someone – we don’t care if people neglect us.

“But it’s just not the right home for the residents.

“There are already sections of one and two bed properties in and around Chelmsford that have not been sold or rented.”

The development “would help provide much needed housing in a sustainable location”

A statement as part of the planning request said: “The proposed mixed-use development was designed to make optimal use of the current restaurant and would therefore help provide much needed accommodation in a sustainable location, without causing visual impact. major on neighboring properties. .

“The complete high-quality design conforms to the scale and mass of the immediate surrounding context, while providing the opportunity to enhance the street frontage and aesthetic quality of the site.

“He also seeks to contribute to the general character of this area of ​​Chelmsford.

“Throughout this document there are sections providing detailed explanations of how possible issues with the initial schematic design were resolved as part of the design process leading up to this current application. an appropriate material palette was an important part of the design process.

“After the response from the pre-bid meeting, the issues were resolved and a contemporary approach was taken towards the design which was inspired by the local context of the site. The proposal offers a high standard of living, providing an appropriate level of private amenity spaces through the form of private balconies that will accommodate a variety of occupants.

“As previously mentioned, the site is located in a sustainable location in close proximity to local amenities, schools and also easily accessible by various modes of public transportation.”


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