Planners are expected to approve a new pub for Abbey End, despite fears over loss of shops in the town centre.
An application is in to merge the former Blockbuster Video shop and Jade restaurant and create a single ‘drinking establishment’. As well as knocking the two units together, the plan includes a single storey rear extension to increase the size of the new building.
The move has no company name behind it - leaving the townspeople confused as to who is in line to take up the spot at the end of Warwick Road.
It was initially thought that J D Wetherspoon was looking at the premises but the company has remained silent on the proposals, despite stating it is ‘continuing to work on securing a town centre location’.
The applicant - through a Coventry-based agent- has already been granted a premises licence, so all that remains is for change of use for the buildings to move away from retail.
And the mystery move looks all set to get the green light as Warwick District Council planning officers have recommend the bid be approved when councillors meet to discuss plans on Tuesday.
This is despite concerns already raised over loss of town centre shopping and the area being unsuitable for a pub.
Retail units are protected “to protect the vitality and viability of the town centre”. And as a result, no more than half of the street frontages can be used for non-retail use.
The report, compiled ahead of Tuesday’s decision meeting, states that as Subway is classified as retail, the figures will remain - leaving the total number of non-retail to just 36 per cent.
It states: “The proposed use would not cause unacceptable levels of noise pollution or other disturbance, would not materially worsen the existing on-street parking situation, not harm visual amenity and would maintain the retail predominance of the frontage.
“The proposal would therefore comply with the policies.”
It also dismissed any increased need for parking or loss of amenity for residents.
This is despite concerns already raised within the town over loss of town centre shopping and the area being unsuitable for another pub.
Town council planning chair Cllr George Illingworth (Con, Abbey) previously said the plans would be an unwelcome step away from retail.
“We object to this on several grounds, most notably that we do not want to lose any more retail space in the town centre, he said.
“Lots of people do not want to lose shops which we would if we grant this change of use.
“We still have no idea who is behind the application but regardless of the company, we are not happy about it.”