A NEW café is set to open in Newbury town centre.
West Berkshire Council has given the the green light for Hog and Hedge to open in the former GAME store in Northbrook Street, which closed last June.
Applicants Meridian Vale Limited and Appropriated Investment said that the new business would bring a vacant property back into use and add to the vitality of the town centre.
West Berkshire Council agreed and said that the new café in the busy high street would be justified, although council policy generally discourages the loss of retail units in the town’s primary shopping frontage.
However, research submitted by the applicants showed that of the 86 units located on Northbrook Street, 56 were retail, 17 were professional services and seven were food and drink outlets.
Furthermore, the applicants added there is a proliferation of retail units in the immediate vicinity of the site.
“Therefore, it is considered that the addition of one further A3 unit on Northbrook Street would not lead to concentration of non-retail uses within this primary shopping frontage,” the council said.
The applications also noted that a number of retailers had moved into Parkway since it opened in 2011.
“Given the additional capacity of retail space now available, this change of use is not considered to represent harm to the vitality of the shopping centre,” the council said.
Hog and Hedge, which has one café based at Whiddon Down services in Devon, is proposing to use the ground and first floors as dining areas, with the kitchen located on the second floor.
A proposed awning over the front entrance will also cover outdoor seating spaces.
West Berkshire Council said that the modestly-sized seating area would not have an adverse impact.