New Princes Avenue restaurant 'would be one too many', Hull councillors decide
PLANS for a large restaurant in one of Hull's most vibrant streets have been refused after concerns over commercial overcrowding.
Councillors expressed fears that too many bars and restaurants could leave the popular Princes Avenue in the lurch if revellers decide to move on to a new area of the city.
Agent Ettridge Architecture Ltd wanted to convert two historic houses in Princes Avenue, west Hull, into a restaurant with more than 100 seats.
But planning committee chairman Councillor Sean Chaytor raised concerns about the number of bars and restaurants on the street.
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He said: "We need to consider how long the ebb and flow will last. The Marina used to be very popular, as did Beverley Road, but they are not anymore.
"We don't want Princes Avenue to be left with empty bars and restaurants."
The committee was split and it took Cllr Chaytor's casting vote to tip the balance.
Avenues and Pearson Park Residents' Association chairman Stephanie Wilson is pleased by the refusal.
After the meeting she said: "I hoped the victory might have been a little more definitive but we are delighted.
"I think there are enough bars and restaurants. We can't have all our eggs in one basket because, if the bottom falls through, we will be left with nothing.
"This proposal would also have caused further parking problems on the street and it is residents off the side streets that would suffer."
The two Victorian properties that would have been transformed into the restaurant were originally homes for workers at the former Botanic railway station.
Mrs Wilson said: "There isn't as lot of respect for the history of this conservation area.
"These houses are a link to the past when we had the botanical gardens and a railway station."
A previous attempt to secure a change of use for the two houses to convert them into a bar and restaurant was rejected by planning councillors several years ago.
Councillor John Fareham criticised the design of an extension which formed part of the plans.
He said: "This is not a high standard of design. This is like a box and I could have drawn it in my sleep.
"It will adversely affect the character of the area and it will take away open space in front of the existing buildings."
Ward councillor Simone Butterworth spoke against the plans.
She said: "There has to be a balance struck between residential and commercial use. This is affecting the safety of residents and more bars and restaurants will be too much.
"There are already parking problems in the street and this will make it worse."
David Ettridge, of Ettridge Architects Ltd, said: "I am passionate about heritage buildings and we have already been shortlisted for our work at Holy Trinity Church.
"These houses are not in a good condition and are used by social services as a halfway house.
"We feel this would be an exciting addition to the street and increase its vibrancy."