Cafe ready to tuck in to new premises

Plans to give a former caf� owner a new home on Sidmouth’s High Street have been approved by the district council.

Nasoula Sherlock, who used to run a caf� in Sidmouth indoor shopping centre, applied to turn the former wine shop from retail use to a caf�.

And at Tuesday’s meeting councillors agreed with officer’s recommendations to allow the change to take place.

Mrs Sherlock was left ‘devastated’ when the Central Market Cafe her family had run for a decade fell victim to the closure of the former indoor shopping centre last January.

There was some opposition when she applied to return, with concerns over another retail outlet being lost in the town to be replaced with Sidmouth’s 28th caf�.

But the district council had three times the amount of letters in favour than against from those who wish to see Mrs Sherlock back in business in the town.

A report by the district council said it was unconcerned by the loss of a retail outlet on High Street, concluding in the shopping area north of the main town centre only around 10 per cent are food and drink outlets.

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The report added: “The loss of one retail unit to a cafe use would not undermine the shopping character, vitality or viability of the town centre.

Furthermore, it would restore a use which was lost when the indoor market was converted to a single retail unit, and would bring an economic benefit through the re-use of a currently vacant property.”

Mrs Sherlock had previously said: “This would give us a great opportunity to continue what we loved doing, serving our customers.

“We were devastated by the closure of Sidmouth indoor shopping centre and feel, by opening up again at this location; we wouldn’t be stepping on the toes of other tea rooms or cafes.”