Green light sought for restaurant proposals for former Spar store

The former Spar building on Uppermill High Street

AN extensive redevelopment is in the pipeline to give a new lease of a life to the former Spar store on Uppermill High Street.
A planning application has been submitted to Oldham Council to turn the building into a restaurant, add a new rear extension, a staff entrance, and replace windows and doors to the front elevation.
Neighbours have been notified by Oldham Council of the application, and comments can be submitted until Monday, February 5.
Many residents at Warburton Court, which is directly opposite on the High Street, are writing to the Council’s planning department as they hope to minimise possible disruption on their door step.
The application, which has been submitted by Whittaker Design architects on behalf of Gewivi Ltd, also outlines plans to resurface and reline the car park behind, creating 17 spaces.
A previous application for change of use from A1 (retail) to A3 (restaurant) was approved in March 2017.
Designs submitted show space for up to 80 covers across the basement and ground floor, as well as a bar, large kitchens and toilets.

Car park to the rear of the building is set to be resurfaced

The application says: “To the rear of the building is an unsightly lean to which is not in keeping with the building of the surrounding environment.
“Extending to this area would also allow easy access from new designated disabled use spaces and also prevent customers in a wheelchair using the highway ramp to get to the front of the building.
“The design of the building should reflect the surrounding buildings and environment.
“The proposal is to extend to the rear, removing the delivery conveyor housing and provide access to the building and also maintain the window to the first floor level.
“This will allow for a safer access to all arriving by private vehicle and by taxi as they can be dropped off and collected to the rear of the building.
“It is not intended to provide a lift internally but a platform stair lift that folds away when not in use.
“The existing car park will be cleared, surface to be repaired, and relined with clear marking designating who the spaces are to be used for. The management of the restaurant will also be able to police the spaces.
“The layout of the internals is set to allow for the deliveries to the site to remain as existing and place the operation of the restaurant to the north of the building which will allow the positioning of the catering extract away from neighbouring residential properties and any associated equipment to the site of the building next to the police station.
“It brings back into use a building within the district shopping area of the village, which as its current use has failed as customers have changed their shopping habits.
“The area has a great mix of retail, café, bars and restaurants and community buildings.
“This will enhance the area and provide additional employment to the area.”
Residents at Warburton Court spoke to the Independent about the application.
One resident, who wished to remain unnamed, said: “There are parking concerns around dropping off and picking up people on the High Street in front of the restaurant.
“Also, we ask that all windows facing the High Street are fixed and non-opening so the smells of food, noise and live entertainment does not come straight into our bedrooms and living rooms.
“We would want glass emptying and recycling to be done during the day instead of at midnight. This is a problem we currently have with the Shalimar and Commercial.
“Will the development – particularly a glass frontage – be in keeping with the rest of the village?
“We are all old age pensioners, aged 70 to 90, who have moved here thinking it would be our last home. This development will affect the resale price of our homes for us or our families.”
Another resident added: “The most obvious problems are noise, traffic, congestion and pollution.
“Plans for about 80 covers will mean a lot more cars trying to access that one-way system to the car park and will create problems with congestion off the main road and also into Tame Street.
“They will come here looking to park, and if they can’t then they will use the entrance to our properties as a turn-around. It will be even worse than it is now.
“It is the size of the project that gets me. 80 covers is a large amount, plus staff of 10 full-time and 20 part-time.
“It looks like a bona fide restaurant but if that were to change and it became more drinks orientated there could be a problem with noise and behaviour.
“Most of the activity will be at the back entrance near the car park but people will want to be dropped off and picked up at the front by taxis, where there are yellow lines.
“And there are problems already with taxis cruising the High Street and a lot of noise.
“We already have a pub next door and two restaurants in the Square, which are noisy particularly around festive periods, but that’s life – but this will be right in our face.”

Find more details about the planning application or submit comments at www.oldham.gov.uk using the reference: PA/341161/17.

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