A planning application to turn the retail unit at 34 Hart Street into a pizza restaurant has been approved by South Oxfordshire District Council despite many neighbours objecting and Henley Town Council recommended refusal.
The plans will see the listed building retail unit which has been empty for 2 years, be converted into a restaurant with new toilets and a mobile outdoor catering unit in the garden at the back of the premises.
Henley Town Council recommended refusal on the grounds of the loss of retail in this town centre location and the layout having an adverse impact on amenity of neighbouring properties from smells and noise.
Many neighbouring properties objected to the application. One said, “Our home is immediately adjacent to and directly overlooks the garden area at the rear of 34/36. We are already suffering from reduced amenity of our property since SODC allowed Hart Street Tavern at 36 Hart Street to use there garden area until 10pm. The sound from their clients is a constant background annoyance at times when we would like to enjoy our patio and garden and when our children need to get to bed.”
Roger Pickering, owner of the premises said, “I am also the owner and landlord of the adjacent properties of 36 Hart Street, (Jack’s Gallery) and the first and second floor studios above both 34 and 36 Hart Street (which we operate as a Wellbeing Centre, offering yoga, massage, counselling etc). The property has been empty for two years now since 02/04/19 and has been actively marketed during that time. We have had passing interest from a couple of fast food franchises, but no retail shops. Whilst empty the shop has added nothing to the vibrancy of the street. My objective has been to find a high quality tenant that will not cause disturbance or nuisance to my adjacent properties. The tenants, Stable 34 are experienced operators of Licensed Premises and come with outstanding industry references. They meet my requirements for a quality, nuisance free tenant that will enhance the Street, and equally importantly are likely to prosper in this location.”