New restaurant planned for York BHS store

An empty BHS store is to be turned into a new restaurant and bar in the centre of York, according to submitted planning documents.

The store has been empty since the chain closed down its stores in August 2016, and now Lloyds Bank SF have applied to refurbish and reuse the site.

The documents, submitted by Indigo Planning, shows their plans to change the building into three separate units. Each unit will have separate entrances on New Street, Coney Street and Feasegate.

The firm behind the plans is the Revolucion de Cuba, a rum bar and cantina with other restaurants across England, including in Leeds and Manchester.

The new restaurant will be in the third unit located on New Street. The plans include a seating area and bar on the ground floor, with extra seating on a roof top terrace. The toilets and kitchen will be located on the first floor.

The area around the building includes other bars and restaurants, cafes, banks, a language school and a variety of shops.

The planning agents said: “It will not have any detrimental effect on the vitality and viability of the city centre, nor will it detract from its primary shopping function.

“The proposal will help to bring a vacant store back into beneficial use.”

The application will be tricky to decide, as the site is in the middle of the Cumulative Impact Zone (CIZ), which means special licensing rules apply to stop new venues opening and adding to the antisocial behaviour problems.

Read how the CIZ is affecting licenses here.

There is a fear of the plans adding to the already extensive anti-social behaviour that occurs in York city centre, a destination place for hen and stag parties.

A number of objections have already been made against the plans, including from the North Yorkshire police who believe that adding another bar to a small street would be likely to bring more public nuisance.

The planning application is currently being considered and a decision is due to be made by March 14.

See the planning application here.

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