Residents unhappy with design plans for a cafe in Wallingford

RESIDENTS are ‘strongly opposed’ to the cafe chain’s plans to redevelop the facade of a building in Wallingford.

Coffee#1, a UK coffeehouse chain, is due to open in the former Lloyds Chemist premises in Market Place.

The company has asked South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, to make changes to the front of the store and to the interior to ‘enable the cafe to operate efficiently’ and ‘complement the operation of the business”.

Coffee#1 is to open in the former Lloyds Pharmacy premises in Market Place

Plans include new recessed sapele wood double doors in the store, new sapele wood folding doors, new softwood stall below the windows, and new aluminum panels.

The store front would also feature “Coffee #1” signs, two on the fascia and a new illuminated sign suspended from a cast steel bracket.

However, residents object to the plans because the building is part of the town’s conservation area and does not “fit” the town’s character.

Herald Series: What the building looked like before the pharmacy closed.What the building looked like before the pharmacy closed.

Theresa Jordan, of Thames Street, said: ‘The building is in a historic conservation area. Only natural materials should be used for signage and no lighting.

“The location is not in a city, we are a small market town with an important history of which we are very proud. We don’t need additional light pollution.

Herald Series: Designs for Hanging Sign.Designs for the hanging sign.

Jane Randle of South View said: “This storefront occupies a key position in the Market Square, so any changes to its exterior appearance are significant.

“This storefront with its folding doors and recessed facade is inappropriate and would detract from the character of the conservation area. The use of aluminum and stainless steel is also inappropriate and does not match the surrounding traditional display cases. »

Herald Series: Cafe provides folding doors.The cafe provides folding doors.

Sue Hendrie, of Church Lane, said: ‘Halo lighting and strip lighting are alien to the city.

“Furthermore, the proposal to introduce a row of folding doors is in no way sympathetic or appropriate to the historic character of the buildings or the conservation area.

“The sidewalk here is only two meters wide on a busy road. Unrestricted access and egress for a certain length immediately around the corner from Feathers Yard would pose a hazard to pedestrians having to negotiate with customers or trying to cross the road.

In the planning, design and access statement, Boyer, on behalf of Coffee #1, said: “The proposed exterior works will not compromise the aesthetics of the property and will establish the operation and commerce through the providing a high quality program that is sensitive to the surrounding context.

The planning authority must make a decision by Thursday May 19.