Waffle cafe to replace English school in Preston city center

Plans submitted to City Council to convert the ground floor of the Preston Academy of English in Ormskirk Road into a restaurant/takeaway have been approved.

The candidate says the cafe idea will ‘help revitalize this part of Preston town center which has seen segments of deprivation since the collapse of the Tithebarn Scheme several years ago’.

The building, in the city’s market district and close to the Bishopgate Gardens project, has been used as a language school since 2014.

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Crêpes Suzette are a big favorite with crepe lovers.

The cafe will occupy the ground floor, with the academy continuing to offer English lessons to international students on the first floor.

Bishopgate Gardens is a development of 130 luxury apartments due for completion next year. The scheme is a redevelopment of two former Department for Work and Pensions office buildings – Red Rose House and Elizabeth House.

The Crepe and Waffle Stop is the brainchild of businessman Marzena Kucha Bacewiz. A planning statement to the city council reads: “This will not only improve the area but also the social aspect of the community.

“Due to the current pandemic, many food establishments have had to close. This will mean there will be a need for more like-minded outlets once the ‘lockdown’ is eased and there is social interaction increased.”

The café will occupy the ground floor of the language school.

The market district is undergoing a drastic change with the old covered market and multi-storey car park being demolished to make way for a huge cinema and entertainment complex.

The crepe/waffle cafe’s proposed opening hours are 6am to 9pm daily.

A letter of objection was received by the council citing a proliferation of hot take-out and restaurant businesses in the area. The complainant also claimed that this would have an unacceptable impact on the viability of local businesses and that the location was unsuitable due to low footfall in the area.

In granting the change of use, a report by a planning officer said: “It is considered that the proposed take-out sale of hot meals for pancakes, waffles, sandwiches and hot drinks is a complementary use which would support the vitality and the viability of the center.

“In addition, the increase in the number of food and beverage businesses is common in cities and the location for this type of use in the city center is considered to be the most suitable.

“The principle of the proposal is therefore considered acceptable.”

Sylvester L. Goldfarb