Supermarket could go in new caf� plan

PORTISHEAD’S High Street could lose one of its last remaining supermarkets.

A planning application has been submitted relating to the Budgens store at 60 High Street, requesting change of use from class A1 retail to class A3 restaurant/bistro. The proposals include splitting the existing unit into two, keeping one as a retail outlet and the other as a caf�/bar.

There would be a new disabled toilet installed on the ground floor with further toilets on the first floor.

Staff at Budgens say they had not been informed of the plans and are shocked to hear that such drastic changes are proposed for the site.

The supermarket unit, which is in the centre of the High Street, has provided groceries for Portishead shoppers since the 1970s. In that time it has changed hands many times with past owners including Priceright, Gateway, and Somerfield.

The plans have been met with mixed feelings from other High Street traders.

Bob Hughes, owner of Top Hat and Tails gift shop, said: “Approval of this planning application would no doubt have a detrimental effect on Portishead High Street and other traders in the town centre. We need to maintain a wide selection of shops to keep people using our High Street and losing a large supermarket that attracts people on a daily basis would not be good.”

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However, Dan Westley, of stationers Morgan Westley, said: “In recent years coffee shop-type businesses have proved to be a draw for the High Street so the move could be a positive one.”

The planning application has been submitted by Loungers Ltd, a business which has ‘lounges’ across the country from Birmingham to Bournemouth, including one in Bedminster, Bristol.

If given the green light, the caf� would occupy the front of the building which would include folding doors and outdoor seating, some of which would be undercover. The entrance to the retail unit would be in Stoke Road.