Developers in third attempt for permission to demolish Chelmsford restaurant

Plans have been submitted for a third time to demolish the Back Inn Time restaurant in Chelmsford – just a month after the city council refused permission.

Developers have also informed Chelmsford City Council that they will appeal the earlier decision to refuse planning permission for the redevelopment of 13 Cottage Place.

There was an outpouring of support for Back Inn Time after plans re-emerged in May to demolish the restaurant and build seven flats with a ground floor commercial space in its place.

A “significant” number of people submitted objections to the proposals -leaving comments highlighting the importance of the restaurant to so many.

Those plans were turned down after an application for its demolition and a development of 11 apartments above were refused in February.

It is yet to be seen what Chelmsford City Council’s planning officers make of the most recent plans – demolition of the restaurant in order for it to be redeveloped into a 125 square metre commercial space on the ground floor and seven residential apartments above.

In its refusal in July the council highlighted how the proposed flats would be overlooked by the existing neighbouring properties, failing to provide the occupants of the proposed flat with “suitable privacy and living environments”.

The second reason for refusal was due to the site falling within a ‘zone of influence’ identified by natural England for likely significant effects on the Blackwater estuary Special Protection Area.

The refusal stated that the application failed to provide information to “allow the likely significant effects to the Blackwater estuary to be ruled out or mitigated”.

A planning statement in the latest application states: “The premises has very little architectural merit and looks out of place next to the ultra contemporary Amlin House.

“The building has a very little presence on Cottage Place or Victoria Road.

“The building has very little architectural character and has been deemed to be of no heritage value.

“The character has been further diminished by the many various extensions that have been built over the years.”

A covering letter from the applicant, dated the beginning of July, read: “As required we are serving you with a notice that we will be shortly submitting a planning application to Chelmsford City Council to demolish and redevelop 13 Cottage Place.

“We are also serving you notice that we will be appealing the council’s decision to refuse planning permission.”

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter