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Cafe loses appeal and is told to close

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: August 12, 2013

Ashbourne coffee stop - Sue Rowley

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A POPULAR town centre cafe has lost its planning battle and has been told it will have to shut up shop.

Ashbourne Coffee Stop, which has been serving drinks and lunches to the town’s shoppers from its trailer in Shaw Croft Car Park for two and-a-half years, has been ordered to close because a planning inspector says it ‘harms the historic environment’.

The business’s owner, Susan Rowley, has thanked her customers for their support and for helping her with her planning appeal by compiling a petition of more than 1,300 signatures.

She said: “I think that might be the end for this site.

“I’m not sure how I feel at the moment, I think I was quite expecting everything to be alright and I was hoping I could forget about it but it’s really upset me.

“I’d like to stay in the town but it takes a lot of tieme to find another site and I’m really not sure what I’m going to do just at the moment.

“I’m really grateful to all my customers for all their support they’ve given me and I’m really sorry things have turned out like this.”

Despite the rented site, at the rear of 40, St John Street, being formerly occupied by a butcher’s van, the cafe was refused planning permission by Derbyshire Dales District Council in July 2012.

The site’s owner Mr Matheou lodged an appeal against the decision but government inspector Clive Whitehouse said the siting of the trailer and its use as a cafe contravenes planning policies.

He said, in his letter to the district council, “The unit clearly provides a convenient and valued service for visitors to the town centre, but that does not overcome the harm to the historic environment.

“It is concluded that the development neither preserves nor enhances the character or appearance of the Ashbourne conservation area and that it detracts from the setting of the listed building.”

Mrs Rowley has been given until Tuesday, December 17 to find a new premises.

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