On Tuesday last, the Council’s Central Area Development Control committee overruled their officers’ recommendation and instead supported the arguments put forward by KCG. We said that if they allowed the launderette to be converted into yet more flats, it would remove a valuable local facility and lead to a domino effect on the other shops (which would obviously be worth more as flats). We also said that it was wrong for the Council simply to accept an owner’s assurances that a business wasn’t viable, when the Council’s own policies on shops (which we feel should be applied to the launderette) say “Where it can be demonstrated that there is no demand for the site or building, taking into account how it has been marketed, for how long, and on what terms, other financial and professional or service uses will be sought.”
However, this isn’t the end of the story. We have talked to the owner, who assures us that the business really is losing money consistently and he will be forced to close it in the next few weeks anyway. He thinks it will be hard for any other business on the site to make money, though of course we think the Council’s policy on shops should still apply and efforts should be made to find a replacement.
The owner may well, of course, appeal against the Council’s decision, but whether he does or not we would be very pleased to hear from anyone who has ideas or proposals or how a successful business could be run on the site. Please let us know through our secretary, Helen Phillips at 73 Kingsdown Parade 942 2922