Planning Application 47-49 High Street

Dear Members

A planning application has been submitted by the freeholder for change of use from Retail (Class A1) to Restaurant (Class A3) and for structural alterations including a new shop front. Full details are available on the Council’s website ref. MC/16/3590.

The proposed new shop front is similar to that existing in that the door remains in its present position and the style and dimensions of the rest of the frontage would remain much the same. Internal alterations and demolition of extensions are probably of no concern to us as residents.

Our only concern would be the loss of a useful retail outlet that offers a wide range of goods that would otherwise only be available from out-of-town supermarkets. The probable reason for the application is that the owners of the property see a restaurant as a better investment than a convenience store. We can hardly object to their wish to maximise the return from their property, but will remark that the change of use would substantially alter the balance of High Street outlets. The basis for our comment will come from Medway’s Local Plan Policy R17, see below.

If you wish to add a comment, please use the on-line facility under Planning Application MC/16/3590 or contact Medway Council at planning.representations@medway.gov.uk  using the same reference.

Regards,

Historic Rochester Residents Association

Local Plan Policy R17: A2 and A3 Uses and Change of Use.

“Changes of use within, and on the edge of, the Core Areas of Chatham, Strood, Gillingham, Rainham and Rochester from Class A1 (retail) to A2 (Financial and Professional Services) or A3 (Food and Drink uses) at ground floor level will be permitted except where the addition of such a use within any particular part of the centre would cumulatively have a detrimental effect on the character and retail function of the centre or visual amenity.”