Trouble brewing over café plan for Waterborne Walk

Empty units in Waterborne Walk which the town council say would be better utilised for the planned cafe.
Empty units in Waterborne Walk which the town council say would be better utilised for the planned cafe.

Leighton-Linslade Town Council is objecting to plans to convert two shops in Waterborne Walk into a café.

The planning application for Units 6 and 6A in the shopping precinct,which currently houses Card Experience and Baileys Travel, was made to Central Beds Council by Savills on behalf of Waterborne Walk owners CPI Holdings.

As part of the café plan, the scheme is looking to make an extension on the ground floor and an outdoor seating area, as well as having improved roof lighting /canopy.

The decision to object the plans was made by the town council at its planning and transport committee, on the grounds that other units within Waterborne Walk were vacant – such as Blockbuster and Coffee and More pictured right – and could be used for the proposed purpose, without the loss of two retail units.

Savills told the LBO they did not want to make a comment at this time about who they had potentially lined up for the proposed café.

The planning application submitted by Savills says the move will boost Waterborne Walk’s offer.

Its planning statement reveals: “It is considered that the proposals will significantly enhance what is currently an underwhelming entrance to the shopping centre.

“It is anticipated that a new café space will attract people into the centre, thus resulting in additional retail spending, whilst enhancements to the entrance facade will provide a more attractive and welcoming setting.”

“A server area to the west of this extension is proposed outside. Coupled with the internal space, it is considered there is capacity for 36 covers.”

“The proposals to enhance the existing canopy will significantly enhance the existing entrance to the site which is currently out-dated, under lit and dark.”

Savills conclude: “The vast majority of uses within Waterborne Walk are A1 [retail]. Café space with further extend the range of facilities offered.”

Although the town council is objecting to the scheme, the final decision rests with Central Beds Council.

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