Growing fears over cafe bar proposals

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CONTROVERSIAL applications to turn two more shops on Hull’s popular Newland Avenue into bars and eateries go before planners next week.

Traders and residents are fighting proposals for a cafe bar at the former Herons frozen food store at 58-60 Newland Avenue and a restaurant at Tony’s Textiles shop at number 185, fearing it will turn the shopping street into another Princes Avenue, dominated by the night-time economy.

The decisions were deferred at the last meeting for a site visit.

Both are being recommended for approval at a meeting at Hull Council next week, despite hundreds of objections.

Norman Elwick, chairman of Newland Residents’ Association, said the council had to put up more of a fight: “What we are seeing is a relentless undermining of the shopping function of the Avenue which is bad for day-time trading and a double whammy for residents who are not only losing the shopping but then we are incurring the fallout from late night activity, a lot more noise and disturbance on the streets.”

Mr Elwick said the problem was compounded by out of town planning inspectors who allowed cafe bars on appeal.

He said: “The council has to dig their heels in and provide more of a case. They have to fight it – which they have been reluctant to do in the past.”

Coun Mike Ross said: “People want to see a good mixture of traders on Newland Avenue, they don’t want to see a particular type of business dominate.”

A recent survey showed 16.5 per cent of outlets on Newland Avenue, sold food and drink, with the two latest applications bringing that to just under 18 per cent.

The residents’ association dispute the figures saying their own survey shows 21 per cent, without the latest applications.

But planners say there is no “direct evidence” the number of cafe bars and restaurants “would materially undermine the vitality and viability of the shopping centre.”