Restaurant plan revealed for former hair and beauty salon at heart of Portishead town centre

Portishead Precinct, resurfacing work finished. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Portishead Precinct, resurfacing work finished. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

An Indian restaurant could add flavour and ‘vibrancy’ to the ‘growing night-time economy’ at Portishead’s precinct, after plans to refurbish a long-vacant unit were revealed.

London and Cambridge Properties (LCP), which manages the shopping centre, has submitted a change of use application to North Somerset Council to covert the former Jean Mays Hair & Beauty salon into a restaurant and takeaway.

LCP has revealed it is courting interest from an Indian restaurateur for the unit, as it strives to provide a precinct 'locals can be proud of'.

The project follows LCP's recent successful application for change of use permission for another vacant unit at the precinct - a former fish and chip shop - which will soon become a micropub selling ales brewed in house, pizzas and hot snacks.

Ed Tuckett, LCP's asset manager for the precinct, told the Times the conversion plan continues the firm's efforts to improve the shopping centre, which are making the area a prime destination in Portishead for a night out.

He said: "LCP has invested significantly within upgrading the infrastructure and aesthetics of the precinct collaboratively with the council to provide a local centre with vitality which locals can be proud of.

"As part of the ongoing investment and improvements, LCP has submitted a change of use planning application for the unit as we have interest from a new Indian restaurant, which we hope will add to the growing night-time economy at the precinct and give the centre more vibrancy.

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"There will be significant investment going into the unit to create the new restaurant.

"Given the prominence of the unit we hope this will have a positive impact on aesthetics of the precinct as you enter from the car park along with providing jobs to the local community.

"The project is set to be completed by summer 2019."

The hair salon traded for three decades but was plunged into insolvency in 2017 following a turbulent spell amid a bitter legal dispute between the owner and their predecessor, and the unit has gathered dust since.

Portishead Town Council discussed the idea at its meeting on June 5, and the authority has entered no objection.