New planning application needed for restaurant in flagship regeneration building

A successful new restaurant in a flagship regeneration building in Barnsley town centre does not have the correct planning permission after an apparent administrative blunder was discovered, it has emerged.

Monday, 30th September 2019, 3:06 pm
Updated Friday, 18th October 2019, 12:01 pm
Application: Fresh planning permission being sought for Falco Lounge in Barnsley's prestige Lightbox building

Now a retrospective application has been submitted for the Falco Lounge, which occupies part of the same building as the Lightbox library, which opened during the summer.

It means the council’s planning department will have to make a decision on whether to grant the permission normally associated with such businesses - which is necessary to meet the lease for the property.

It is the second retrospective application to be made on the same building, a cornerstone of Barnsley Council's town centre redevelopment.

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Falco has a direct entrance from the library – which does not have its own cafe – and was granted permission as an ‘ancillary restaurant cafe’ when permission was granted for the full building.

However, documents submitted by a senior Barnsley Council officer state: “The current consent for the unit provides for ancillary restaurant cafe use to the library, therefore the current use as a restaurant/cafe bar by Loungers (the company operating the business) is not in consistent with approved planning consent.

“To ensure compliance with leasing pre-conditions, it is necessary to rpivde the unit with specific A3 planning use consent.”

According to the documents, providing A3 consent – which covers use for that type of business – “aligns” with the council’s Local Plan, its blueprint for development until the 2030s, which was adopted earlier this year.

The application is the second made on retrospective basis for the Lightbox building, with permission granted by the council for illuminated signage outside.

Barnsley Council announced at the end of last year that the Lounges chain, which runs Falco, had committed to a 15 year lease and outside the market it was the first business to open as part of the town centre's ongoing transformation.