Laura Ashley could leave city centre if bar plan approved

Laura Ashley could leave city centre if bar plan approved

Laura Ashley could leave city centre if bar plan approved

Updated in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by

LAURA Ashley could be forced out of York if a proposal put forward by its landlord and supported by City of York Council planners get the go ahead, the shop chain has warned.

The shopping chain has written to the authority's planning department objecting to a scheme to change 11 Little Stonegate, which it partly occupies, from a shop into a restaurant or bar.

The planning application submitted by the building's owners Rushbond Plc asks for a change of use on the three-storey building, and makes it clear they want the flexibility to use the site as a drinking establishment alone.

But Laura Ashley currently occupies part of the ground floor, which opens into its Davygate shop, and the company's lawyers Pinsent Masons have submitted a formal application saying the proposals would threaten the business and the 18 jobs it sustains in the city.

Their letter said: "Laura Ashley is an established and popular retail store with an established national brand that has provided an attraction destination to local shoppers and visitors of York for the last 32 years.

"The change of use will more than likely result in the exit of Laura Ashley from York city centre due to the shortage of A1 retail units that can accommodate Laura Ashley's space requirements."

The plans have also drawn criticism from members of Guildhall's planning panel, who object to another drinking establishment in what they say is an already problematic area. They are due to be considered by the planning committee after ward councillor Brian Watson raised concerns about the loss of retail space.

But despite the objections, planning officers have recommended the scheme for approval by the planning area sub committee when it meets on Thursday, saying the plans will not cause "undue harm" to the street's vitality, and would boost the area by bringing the whole Little Stonegate unit back into use.

Comments (10)

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9:08am Thu 3 Jul 14

York2000 says...

Council council rar rar rar
Council council rar rar rar York2000
  • Score: -1

10:28am Thu 3 Jul 14

Dr Brian says...

Have we not got enough bars in the city centre? Shame if an established business leaves the city centre and the jobs of the staff are lost.
Have we not got enough bars in the city centre? Shame if an established business leaves the city centre and the jobs of the staff are lost. Dr Brian
  • Score: 35

11:37am Thu 3 Jul 14

twoleftfeet says...

ANOTHER bar/restaurant. Clearly CYC have no bottle to reject this application.
ANOTHER bar/restaurant. Clearly CYC have no bottle to reject this application. twoleftfeet
  • Score: 18

12:58pm Thu 3 Jul 14

york_chap says...

Hey, come on guys - there's clearly a desperate shortage of bars/restaurants in the city centre and who needs big-name retailers anyway? Perhaps Coney Street should become a new "gastronomy quarter" of bars/bistros? And Parliament street/Davygate too for that matter. You could get loads of tables in the M&S store and in Debenhams if they were converted.

Seriously though, given the council's apparent agenda to transform York into a theme park for tourists and, to a lesser extent, students, this move makes sense. After all, there's no Laura Ashley at Flamingo Land or at Alton Towers. Why have one in York?

Us locals who've lived here for years have our out of town shopping centres now, so we should all be grateful and keep out of the city centre, lest our day to day business should get in the way of the tourist folk.
Hey, come on guys - there's clearly a desperate shortage of bars/restaurants in the city centre and who needs big-name retailers anyway? Perhaps Coney Street should become a new "gastronomy quarter" of bars/bistros? And Parliament street/Davygate too for that matter. You could get loads of tables in the M&S store and in Debenhams if they were converted. Seriously though, given the council's apparent agenda to transform York into a theme park for tourists and, to a lesser extent, students, this move makes sense. After all, there's no Laura Ashley at Flamingo Land or at Alton Towers. Why have one in York? Us locals who've lived here for years have our out of town shopping centres now, so we should all be grateful and keep out of the city centre, lest our day to day business should get in the way of the tourist folk. york_chap
  • Score: 22

1:05pm Thu 3 Jul 14

york_chap says...

And yes - I fully appreciate that tourists are vital to York's economy and that we'd be in dire straits without them. However, we (and the council) should be promoting a city centre that effectively serves both tourists and locals alike; rather than creating an apartheid system whereby local folk are relegated to the outskirts, as there's nothing for them in the centre except a multitude of 'dining experiences', ice cream stands and boozers.
And yes - I fully appreciate that tourists are vital to York's economy and that we'd be in dire straits without them. However, we (and the council) should be promoting a city centre that effectively serves both tourists and locals alike; rather than creating an apartheid system whereby local folk are relegated to the outskirts, as there's nothing for them in the centre except a multitude of 'dining experiences', ice cream stands and boozers. york_chap
  • Score: 14

3:54pm Thu 3 Jul 14

Devils_advocate says...

I thought the licensing authority had said that they weren't going to issue more licenses in the city centre?
I thought the licensing authority had said that they weren't going to issue more licenses in the city centre? Devils_advocate
  • Score: 14

5:47pm Thu 3 Jul 14

Garrowby Turnoff says...

The Monks Cross site is quite capable of satisfying Mrs Turnoff's needs. The last time we went into the town centre I paid £7.50 for a park and faffed about on the journey into town so much I vowed I'd Park and Ride next time or use a folding bike. Not.
The Monks Cross site is quite capable of satisfying Mrs Turnoff's needs. The last time we went into the town centre I paid £7.50 for a park and faffed about on the journey into town so much I vowed I'd Park and Ride next time or use a folding bike. Not. Garrowby Turnoff
  • Score: 0

5:52pm Thu 3 Jul 14

BigJon says...

Although there are too many bars/restaurants I can sort of see the landlords reasoning. After all, if Laura Ashley only occupy part of the unit and The Press hasn't mentioned any other shops being made to close, then they must be sitting there with a lot of empty space not making them any money - converting the whole unit to a bar/restaurant and getting rent for it would therefor make more sense. Also, I would imagine that anyone using the whole unit would probably employ more than the 18 people that L.A. currently do. What I don't understand though is that LA are complaining about the lack of alternative comparable retail space yet if you walk down any of York's main shopping streets I can almost guarantee you'll find empty units available to let some of which may even be better for them given the wide choice available.
Although there are too many bars/restaurants I can sort of see the landlords reasoning. After all, if Laura Ashley only occupy part of the unit and The Press hasn't mentioned any other shops being made to close, then they must be sitting there with a lot of empty space not making them any money - converting the whole unit to a bar/restaurant and getting rent for it would therefor make more sense. Also, I would imagine that anyone using the whole unit would probably employ more than the 18 people that L.A. currently do. What I don't understand though is that LA are complaining about the lack of alternative comparable retail space yet if you walk down any of York's main shopping streets I can almost guarantee you'll find empty units available to let some of which may even be better for them given the wide choice available. BigJon
  • Score: 6

10:23pm Thu 3 Jul 14

Pinza-C55 says...

Devils_advocate wrote:
I thought the licensing authority had said that they weren't going to issue more licenses in the city centre?
That was a soundbite, not to be taken literally.
[quote][p][bold]Devils_advocate[/bold] wrote: I thought the licensing authority had said that they weren't going to issue more licenses in the city centre?[/p][/quote]That was a soundbite, not to be taken literally. Pinza-C55
  • Score: -4

8:34am Fri 4 Jul 14

Stressed Out says...

Pinza-C55 wrote:
Devils_advocate wrote:
I thought the licensing authority had said that they weren't going to issue more licenses in the city centre?
That was a soundbite, not to be taken literally.
They haven't applied for a licence. Its a planning application for change of use which I see from todays Press has been refused.
For information the licensing authority cannot refuse to accept a licence application due to legislation, its then down to people making representations and the application going before Licensing committee for decision to be made.
[quote][p][bold]Pinza-C55[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Devils_advocate[/bold] wrote: I thought the licensing authority had said that they weren't going to issue more licenses in the city centre?[/p][/quote]That was a soundbite, not to be taken literally.[/p][/quote]They haven't applied for a licence. Its a planning application for change of use which I see from todays Press has been refused. For information the licensing authority cannot refuse to accept a licence application due to legislation, its then down to people making representations and the application going before Licensing committee for decision to be made. Stressed Out
  • Score: 0
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