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Plans for ground floor of town hall get the go-ahead
11:00am Friday 28th September 2012 in News
A VENTURE to transform the derelict ground floor of a prominent Evesham building has been unanimously supported by town councillors.
Plans to open a café on the ground floor of the town’s 16th century town hall, which has been unused for almost 10 years since PJs bar closed, were met with relief by many councillors, who welcomed the proposals to bring the building back into use.
The man behind the plans, Tony Fisher, hopes the new café will help to create a Continentalstyle piazza with outside seating and tables in Market Square.
Despite supporting the proposals, some members raised concerns about allowing outside seating, which brought a strong response from other councillors at Monday evening’s meeting.
Former Mayor Alan Booth said rejecting outside seating would be like going “back to the dark ages for Evesham”.
“This is a town that is supposed to be going forward,” he said. “Every town in Europe has outside seating.”
Coun Gerry O’Donnell, who is also chairman of Evesham Market Town Partnership, said: “One of the reasons Evesham is sometimes in the state it is in is because people don’t want to see change. We have got to do something about getting a café society and that doesn’t happen without tables and chairs.”
Coun Jo Sandalls and Coun Reg Jakeman said they were worried about outside seating and Coun Sandalls also raised concerns about plans to have a charity shop in part of the building.
She said: “I wouldn’t want to see another charity shop. I have reservations about the tables and chairs outside. This is a grade two listed building, it would have an effect. Would it obstruct the market on Saturdays?”
Mr Fisher said he was pleased with the comments from the council. The cafe proposals do not require fresh planning or licensing permission due to an existing licence on the building.
Mr Fisher is in ongoing discussions regarding the lease and with a brewery, and hopes to open in November.