St George’s Terrace home-to-business proposal made for third time
Newcastle City Council is considering an application to turn the ground floor residential flat (Class C3) at 68 St. George’s Terrace into a restaurant/café (Class A3) – the third time this change in use has been requested.
The site in question contains three flats and sits at the end of St. George’s Terrace, separated from Acorn Road by the entranceway to Tesco car park. On the other side of the property is a similar residential building containing three flats, while the remainder of the terrace is primarily used for residential purposes.
The council has rejected the two previous applications to change the residential site into a restaurant/café.
The first application was submitted in 2014 and outlined plans to convert the flat into a 38-seat café/restaurant. The plan was to extend the property at the rear, covering the external yard area at a height of about four metres, rising above the boundary wall to the neighbouring property. This new space would be used for extra seating and as a food preparation area.
The proposal also outlined plans for the erection of an external flue to help mitigate odour, as well as the creation of a second entrance at the front of the property to give the buildings’ other residents a separate access.
The 2014 plans were opposed by the local community, with 11 separate objections being submitted to the council.
The Jesmond Residents Association embodied the thrust of the objectors in their comment: “it is not appropriate to change a residential property in a part of the street that is residential to Class A3 use, even if it is right at the end of the terrace. There will be loss of residential amenity to the surrounding residents as a result of this proposal.”
This view was echoed by the council who ruled that the new business “would be materially detrimental to the amenity of nearby residents by reason of noise and disturbance, comings and goings of pedestrian and vehicular activity, and cooking fumes and odours.”
The council also ruled that the proposed size and height of the rear extension and external flue would detrimentally impact upon neighbouring residents’ visual amenity.
A second application was submitted last year and sought to address some of the concerns raised by residents.
Most notably, the proposal outlined plans to soundproof the building in order to lower noise levels as well as increase extraction to further mitigate odour.
Despite this the application received 23 objections from the community and the council refused the application on similar grounds.
The third application was submitted to the council last month with alterations made to the proposed building plans.
The extension to the rear of the property is now smaller and no longer reaches the neighbour’s boundary wall. The plans also introduce an exit to the rear in order to decrease footfall and the accumulation of noise at the front of the property.
The plans have again been met with objections from the local community, with residents citing many reasons why it should not be given the go ahead. Many residents believe that residential properties on residential terraces should remain that way, and should not be converted to A3 use.
Labour councillor Dan Perry argues that the proposal might disrupt the balance of residential and commercial properties within Jesmond.
Cllr Perry told JesmondLocal: “We already have ample commercial properties in this area… for restaurants and cafes, and I note there are currently vacancies. We have enough commercial businesses in Jesmond to serve the local area.”
Pat Scott lives next door to the property and is objecting to the application for the third time.
“I feel this would adversely affect mine and my mothers’ privacy, not just with customers coming and going and generally chatting etc. but also as a result of the increased noise associated with staff before opening and after closing,” she told JesmondLocal.
Scott is also worried that the approval of these plans could set a dangerous precedent for the Jesmond area as a whole.
“It would lead to further development and change of use of residential housing to that of commercial use without any respite during the year, when for example students are away on holiday.”
The plans were submitted on the January 18th. The council usually comes to a decision on planning applications within three months.