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The Richmond Council Planning Officer, John Brown, has recommended that the Planning Committee give its ‘permission’ for the proposed wine bar in the basement formerly occupied by Phelps in his recently published report. The Planning Committee will meet on the 2nd of March at 6:30 pm in the Salon at York House to decide whether to grant or reject this recommendation.

“The proposed use would provide an indoor leisure amenity which would allow local customers to drink without travelling to Richmond or Twickenham town centres, and, appropriately conditioned, would not result in significant harm to the local environment arising from noise, smells or vehicular traffic movements.”

John Brown, Richmond Council Planning Officer

In a thorough and carefully worded report, Mr. Brown enumerated all of the concerns raised by the community and point by point answered them.

  • Visual Impact Mr. Brown felt this would be improved as the Dutch canopy of Streets would be replaced and the whole storefront generally improved according to general Council recommendations.
  • Neighbouring Amenity He felt that the current planning permission (retail use) allowed for the mews could allow a “potential bad neighbour” right now, and the wine bar’s use of the mews would be more restricted. Additionally, he has recommended that the wine bar follow their own commitment to limit delivery times, access via the mews, carefully sound proof the walls, internally store rubbish and move the mechanical heating and air filtering to a safe location for all neighbours.
  • Traffic & Parking Impact Looking carefully at the DVD and survey from the Broadway residents and completing their own survey, they felt that there was some on street parking, the location is ideally placed between a bus stop and railway station and that the lack of parking is a general reality of the area that the owners cannot control, they felt this wasn’t a reason to refuse; however, they do recommend restricting coaches for functions.
  • Business Failure Mr. Brown also addressed the issue how to limit the concerns of residents that if the business were to fail and another group moved into the premise. He stated:

“It must be borne in mind that if permission were to be granted then the premises could change proprietors and change its character without the need for a further planning application. What could not change without express permission, however, would be the opening hours and any other constraints imposed by way of planning conditions, and the Officer view is that appropriate conditions, binding on any future operators, could be used to safeguard local amenity.”

  • Hours In order to reduce the potential impact of drawing in a late night crowd as other pubs are closing, the report recommends limiting the hours from 9am-11:30pm Mon-Fri, 9am-12 midnight, Sat-Sun and only 10 days per year until 1am and a “notice to this effect shall be displayed at all times on the premises so as to be visible from outside.”