English Deli Blues

Mick asks:

“I’m looking to open an English style deli in the market sq area,but am getting problems from planners, got any advice on way forward, they think ones not wanted by locals,any help will be appreciated.”

The Phantom is slightly surprised. I thought that they were desperate to open shops there, despite the big fat question mark hanging over the whole area re.development.

At the risk of teaching my grandmother to suck the proverbial, are you sure the usage of the store is allowed? I’ve noticed “A3 use will not be considered” on several leases there.

A3 normally refers to cafes and restaurants – the sale of food and drink for consumption on the premises – or takeaways – the sale of hot food for consumption off the premises. Perhaps you intended to sell slices of hot roast beef or have a little tearoom at the back? That could be the problem.

It’s where several small cafes have fallen down – the glorious Royal Teas, for one. More recently, according to the sign in their window, the council have got sniffy about the Organic Cafe – and are forcing them to move opposite the cinema (where, frankly, I think they’ll do just fine – as soon as they fix that broken window – bad luck, guys…)

It does seem that the council wants to stop cafes (although I note they don’t seem to have come crashing down on any of the chains – presumably it’s easier to catch the small fish) but I wasn’t aware that they were preventing delis.

I guess what it would be useful to know is who these planners are. Are they Greenwich Hospital (who I presume own the shops) or the council? If it’s the council, then a letter to your councillor might be a good start, asking for exact reasons – it’s hard to know how to fight a vague refusal. I find their argument – that locals don’t want one – fishy – I can’t see tourists bringing their shopping bags ready to lug home mushy peas and Cornish pasties. Is this their written reasons?

If you’re asking whether locals would want one – well – do you, guys? I think if it’s well done, an English deli – especially if it includes local food, would be welcome. But that’s just me…

Actually, now I can’t see the signs in my head it may be that A2 use is the one that won’t be considered – that’s financial and professional services, including bookies (heavens) – which I would absolutely agree with. And looking at it further, it would seem that a deli, unless it served food, would count as A1 anyway.

Hell, I don’t know. But I’d say the first thing you need to do is get exact reasons for their refusal in writing. You can’t fight a phantom (and I should know ;-) )


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