A plan to create a new takeaway restaurant in the historic heart of Hereford has been withdrawn following concerns about its impact on the building and wider area.

A Leicestershire firm applied last month for permission to convert the former shop at 61 Commercial Street, near the city’s famous Black & White House, into a takeaway restaurant with seating inside and on the pedestrianised street in front.

The first floor, currently an office and storeroom, was to be converted into a manager’s bedsit flat, while the second floor would be retained as a staff kitchen and toilets.


As the building is grade II listed, the plan also needed consent for planned internal alterations and new shopfront, consisting of recessed hinged folding double-glazed aluminium doors.

But Herefordshire Council’s historic buildings officer said they had “grave concerns” over the amount of information supplied with the application, which lacked a heritage statement, structural details on the proposed shopfront, details of fire- and noise-proofing with the planned upstairs flat, and means of escape from the flat.

From the information that was provided, the officer also said the planned folding shopfront doors would be “inappropriate in such an historic street frontage”.


Having these potentially open until 11 at night, coupled with the planned external seating, “would be contrary to the [council’s] aim of encouraging residential use above shops in the city centre”, they said.

The government’s built heritage agency Historic England declined to comment, suggesting the council “seek the views of your specialist advisers”.

But Hereford City Council also said it disagreed with the planned alterations to the shopfront.

“This is a listed building, and these changes to the front doors of the property would be irreversible,” it said, adding that “the lack of mention of disabled access in the application would need to be addressed”.

The proposal was formally withdrawn on July 12.