Latest café chain bid for Chichester provokes anger

The Boston Tea Party wants to open a 150-cover cafe in the ground floor of The Corn Exchange, in Baffins Lane

The Boston Tea Party wants to open a 150-cover cafe in the ground floor of The Corn Exchange, in Baffins Lane

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Plans for yet another café chain to move into the centre of Chichester have been met with fierce opposition.

The Boston Tea Party has submitted a change of use planning application, through Seaward Properties Ltd, to convert the ground floor of the Corn Exchange in Baffins Lane. More than 20 objections have been lodged against the 150-cover café plans for the Grade II listed building from neighbouring residents and Chichester City Council.

Keith Mitchelson, chairman of Newtown Residents’ Association, said: “You can see from the number of objections it’s really driving people nuts.

“Chichester is drowning with chains, the balance is totally out of sync and it makes it so hard for the small cafés and restaurants to compete.

“This is a secondary street in a conservation area with Grade I and II listed buildings which is mostly residential.

“So to put a 150-cover mega restaurant which opens from 7am-9pm, creating noise, light pollution, odours and traffic would just be wrong.”

Michael Sullivan, a resident in St John’s Street, added: “It takes little imagination to consider the environmental impact and damage that opening a very large cafe on Baffins Lane will have for local residents and indeed visitors alike.

“We must remember that the proposal is within a conservation area that is not only enjoyed by residents but explored by many visitors to the city.

“A cafe, bordering the residential Newtown area, will produce cooking odours, noise from music and extractor fans and there will be the detrimental effect of an increase in the number of vehicles visiting and parking locally.”

The application is expected to come up before Chichester District Council planners later this year.

As part of the application, the Boston Tea Party describes itself as “a leading all-day trading café restaurant operator based in the South West. BTP now operate from 17 cafes, the most recent opening being in Stratford upon Avon.

BTP’s mission is to serve good things in great spaces without compromising on quality or ethics.”