REFUSED: Redevelopment plans for redundant Italian restaurant in Newton Poppleford thrown out

La Rosetta Italian restaurant closes

La Rosetta Italian restaurant closes - Credit: Archant

Plans to partially demolish flats and a redundant Italian restaurant in Newton Poppleford, and convert them into new homes, have been refused.

An application was lodged in May last year to redevelop La Rosetta, in High Street, and two flats above it, into three terraced properties.

However, planning officers at East Devon District Council (EDDC) have thrown out the plans, citing a loss of commercial space and lack of adequate marketing.

A refusal notice published by EDDC said: "In the opinion of the Local Planning Authority, insufficient evidence has been provided to satisfactorily demonstrate that the premises have been adequately marketed or that all options for their retention for their previous or similar employment uses have been fully explored. In addition, it has not been adequately demonstrated that there is a surplus supply of employment land or provision in the locality."

The officers said the proposed development would result in the loss of an employment site, which would 'harm employment opportunities' in the area to the 'detriment of the vibrancy and viability of the local community'.

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La Rosetta, a 75-seat restaurant, is a semi-detached building with two separate flats above it and a rear car park with delivery service access.

The applicant said the business had been on a downturn since August 2016 due to a combination of the restaurant's location within an 'isolated village' and competition in Sidmouth.

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The plans also detailed the owner's attempt to maintain the business by reducing the rent on a regular basis over nine years and putting the property up for sale.

Under the plans, the applicant sought the partial demolition of the rear extension and car port to construct a separate single storey unit in its place.

The dwelling would have been a single storey one bed-unit to ensure no overlooking of adjoining neighbours or impact nearby amenities.

However, planning officers said the proposed development would result in the loss of commercial floor space from the adjoining takeaway premises.

This, they said, would 'threaten the viability' of the present business and 'detrimentally affect the desirability' of the use of the remaining floor space for commercial purposes in the future.

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