Restaurant and bar divides residents

The proposals are for the former Neale Brothers store in Hill Road

The proposals are for the former Neale Brothers store in Hill Road - Credit: Archant

OPINION has been divided over proposals to open a new restaurant and lounge bar in a popular Clevedon shopping street.

A planning application has been submitted to North Somerset Council to change the use of the former Neale Brothers ironmongers in Hill Road into a coffee house and lounge bar.

The proposals include the installation of metal railings to the perimeter of the flat roof and an extract duct for the proposed new kitchen.

While the applicants believe the change would provide more choice for residents and visitors, the proposals have sparked objections from a number of people.

They are concerned about a lack of parking in Hill Road, the loss of retail space in the street, the proposed location of a fire escape and the potential for noise and disturbance from the establishment.

Nearby residents also worry the extraction duct will result in food smells near their homes, the pathway outside could be used as a regular area for smokers to congregate and there may not be sufficient space to store the waste that results from an eating and drinking venue.

Clevedon Civic Society has also objected to the application which believes could have a detrimental effect on the conservation area the shop lies in.

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However, a number of people have also written to North Somerset Council to say they think the new business would be an asset to Hill Road and provide more choice.

Clevedon Town Council has raised no objections to the application.

In a letter to North Somerset Council, the applicants Mr and Mrs Bryant who also live in Hill Road, have sought to allay concerns.

They do not believe the change of use would add to parking pressures, have confirmed wheelie bins would be stored in the same place as the previous occupier and believe the proposed railings would fit in with ironwork visible on other buildings in the road.

The letter also says: “In a town with approximately 22,000 people it is merely about choice that is being catered for.

“In all the years I have lived in Clevedon it is only of late that I feel Clevedon is slipping behind Portishead with regards to what Portishead has to offer.

“People like to stay local and I believed this is what we strive to achieve, encourage and promote.”