Shoppers could soon see change as Specsavers eyes move to Dunmow town centre
PUBLISHED: 08:20 22 November 2019
Specsavers could move in to a building in Dunmow which once housed an award-winning tearoom and has been empty for more than a year.
The optician and retail chain has lodged an application with Uttlesford District Council to change the use of 1 Market Place, from a cafe to retail.
Scrumptious Tearooms used to operate in the Grade II-listed building from July 2012 until July 2018.
In 2013, the business was crowned the best tearoom in Essex at the Food and Drink awards hosted by Essex Life, owned by the Broadcast's publishers, Archant.
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The application, submitted in October, also includes plans for three outdoor air conditioning (AC) units at the back of the property and two signs at the front.
A design and access statement, submitted in support of the application, reads: "The new shop front signage is a heritage design, non-illuminated, aiming to replicate a traditional aesthetic. The new shop front is important to our client as it will give the new store brand continuity and make the store recognisable to the general public within the high street location."
According to the document, prepared by Fisch Design Ltd, the internal building works will see "no major demolition of any listed elements of structural walls, floors or ceilings". The "only minor" demolition work would be the removal of two partition walls.
The statement reads: "Works are essential to improve the functionality of the interior layout. The works proposed are intended to be undertaken as sympathetically as possible replacing like for like, or by partitioning off/boxing up existing construction to protect then. Contractors will made aware of the listed status throughout works."
The proposed AC units are required to ensure temperature and fresh air is maintained within the medical test rooms and would only run during working hours. Environmental health officer Guy Guint said the "combined noise output" of all three units could be in the region of 47-48 decibels
He recommended that a condition whereby the noise of the units should not exceed the existing background noise level to protect the amenity of neighbouring buildings should be attached if planning permission is granted.