Restaurant to open in spa town after appeal

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A MAJOR chain of Italian restaurants is to open a restaurant in Harrogate with the creation of 35 jobs after it won an appeal against a council’s decision to refuse the application.

Earlier this year, a planning application to transform a former opticians in Harrogate’s Station Square into a Carluccio’s restaurant was refused by Harrogate Borough Council’s planning officers in a meeting behind closed doors. At the time a council spokeswoman confirmed planning officers believed the new restaurant would have “diluted” the shopping district. However, following an appeal, a planning inspector has ruled the restaurant can now open.

The firm’s chief executive, Simon Kossoff, said he was “delighted” the appeal for planning permission to open a restaurant was successful, and added: “We believe absolutely that Carluccio’s will bring added vitality and vibrancy to the town centre, not least of all by providing some 35 new jobs.”

A council spokeswoman said the inspector had appreciated its concerns that a non-retail use could dilute the shopping area of James Street but it attached more weight to the amount of retail floor space proposed for the delicatessen.

“The prime objective for the council was to protect Harrogate’s unique shopping offer and we are pleased to see that the Inspector upheld our general approach in seeking to protect the primary shopping area, but in this case was persuaded that the balance was in favour of the applicants and their revised proposals.”