NEW shops could be created in an original building of Bognor Regis.
Plans to convert Barn Restaurant in the High Street into four starter retail units and a cafe with three one-bed flats above have been revealed.
South Promo has applied to Arun District Council for planning permission for the work and in its application, planning agent Leeza Aldis-Hobbs says the site dates from the 1820s and was among the original buildings of Sir Richard Hotham’s grand plan for a seaside resort.
“The site was originally constructed as four cottages and has undergone many changes of ownership the years, but more recently as Gough Bros art studios and Smugglers Paradise bar and restaurant.”
The building is mainly located in Norfolk Street. The latest proposal includes commercial space after Arun objected to a scheme last year for four cottages and a bedsit.
“The proposed ground-floor units would be ideal for local businesses moving from ‘home’, working towards their first retail street presence, encouraging commercial opportunities.
“The proposed conversion of the vacant retail unit and workshop will enhance the immediate area, forming a permanent regenerated area.
“The sympathetic conversion of the building will enhance the visual character, while ensuring a redundant building is given a new purpose, avoiding further deterioration,” says Ms Aldis-Hobbs.
The planned scheme has been designed to create an attractive mix of dwellings and retail premises for small or incubator businesses.
It addresses concerns about previous plans by keeping the commercial use. Most of the building’s appearance will be kept.