Carluccio’s face second refusal

NADV 1310083AM1 Optical Express. The empty shop once occupied by Optical Express. Picture : Adrian Murray.  (1310083AM1)
NADV 1310083AM1 Optical Express. The empty shop once occupied by Optical Express. Picture : Adrian Murray. (1310083AM1)
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Italian restaurant chain Carluccio’s have had their second planning application refused, despite huge local support.

A public outcry followed Harrogate Borough Council’s initial decision to refuse planning permission for the Italian restaurant and deli proposed for the former Optical Express shop on Station Square.

Carluccio’s second application recieved 19 letters of support, with just one objection from Phillip Lunn of Lateral Property group who suggested his own development on Parliament Street would be a more suitable location.

Nigel Vickery from Cath Kidston Ltd who occupy a unit on James Street said in a letter to the council: “In our opinion having an establishment as well known as Carluccio’s on this frontage will be a considerable improvement over the former occupier.

“The customer base for Carluccios is very much in line with retailers in James Street.”

Sara Tack from Gap on James Street said: “Carluccio’s are an attractive retailer that will increase the footfall and vitality of this specific pitch.”

However the council’s planning department rejected the plans citing the same reasons as when the first plan was refused in June 2013.

Head of planning services, Gary Bell said: “In the opinion of the Local Planning Authority the loss of most of this retail establishment would result in a dilution of the retail uses in a shopping area, which would detract from the existing shopping nature of the town.”

The refusal was announced the day before the company’s chief executive travelled to Harrogate to appeal the initial decision.

The appeal decision is expected in the next six weeks.

The chief executive of Carluccio’s travelled to Harrogate for a planning appeal hearing this week, the day after the restaurant chain’s second planning application was rejected.

The appeal decision is expected to be made in the next six weeks.