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York’s Christmas Angels shop ‘here to stay’
THE owners of York’s Christmas Angels shop say they fully intend to carry on trading – despite planners receiving an application for its conversion into a restaurant.
The application for planning permission and listed building consent for the change of use has made to City of York Council by Space Corporation Ltd of London.
A supporting document by town planning consultant Raymond Barnes says the lease on the Grade II listed property in Low Petergate has come to an end, and consent for an alternative use is being sought as there is a possibility of it becoming vacant.
However, Pauline and Chris Kirby, who run the shop, said yesterday in a statement: “We are in the process of renewing the lease on the building so that the Christmas Angels shop can continue here in the city as an independent retail shop, just as it has for the last 26 years.
“We are protected tenants, and the directors of the company, and all members of staff, are committed to the business which contributes to the overall economy of the city of York.
“We see no reason why a new lease will not be established once the terms are settled. Hopefully this will be by mutual agreement with our landlord.”
Mr Kirby said trade this year had been “bouyant”, and the best enjoyed by the shop in four years.
Mr Barnes said in a design and access statement to the council that a specific operator had not yet been identified for a restaurant, and the proposal was therefore a “somewhat generic” one, submitted with the main objective of establishing the principle of the change of use.
He said it was likely that the “end user” would want to vary the scheme and a fresh application would be needed.
He said Low Petergate had weathered the last economic recession relatively well and the number of vacancies was generally low, but it was not necessary for a shop unit to be vacant for permission to be granted for a change of use to non-retail purposes.
He said: “Restaurants within the central area attract a significant footfall and are as much a contributor towards maintaining and enhancing the vitality and viability of the centre as are the shops.”
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