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Deepdale empty shop demolition after botched café renovation

Posted on - 22nd July, 2023 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Deepdale, Politics, Preston Council, Preston News, Redevelopment
The planned café unit in Harewood Road, Deepdale Pic: Google

An empty shop in a Deepdale is set to be demolished after it was discovered that work to convert it into a café was not up to scratch.

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The renovation of the unit, at the junction of Harewood Road and St. George’s Road in Deepdale, began in May last year after planning permission was granted by Preston City Council.  

The building had been vacant for several years after last operating as the base for a claims management company.

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According to documents submitted to the town hall’s planning department seeking approval to flatten the property and replace it with an entirely new structure, the applicant behind the scheme concluded that the design that was taking shape after the initial project got under way was “poor”.

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That led Imtiaz Vali to put forward a brand new blueprint for the corner outlet, which was also given the green light back in January.

However, it later became clear that the work undertaken to deliver the first iteration of the plans was“substandard” and would have to be dismantled, a planning statement for the latest proposal states.

“It has therefore been decided that a more cost effective solution is to demolish the whole building and start again,” the document adds.

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Mr Vali has now asked planners to approve that demolition and the construction of a modern part two and part three-storey unit in place of the original property, which currently stands semi-derelict.  The ground floor is boarded up and fenced off while the windowless top floor is largely wide to the elements.

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Two of the three floors in the new outlet would be used to seat diners, while a covered outdoor seating area would also be created, along with a ramp for disabled access.

The new building would sit on almost identical footprint to the one it would replace and, according to a design and access statement accompanying the application would create “a landmark feature at the junction…and act as a terminus to the long view looking east down St. George’s Road from Deepdale Road”.

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The application notes that the number of sit-in eateries in the area is “very limited”, adding that the proposed development would benefit residents and provide local employment.

It claims that the location of the new building – at the end of an existing terrace of residential properties – minimises any visual harm or intrusion, including to the houses it adjoins.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has attempted to find contact details for Mr Vali in order to offer him the opportunity to comment.

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