Former Colchester Post Office set to transformed into new café and home

The site which is set to be developed at 50 London Road, Stanway, Colchester
-Credit: (Image: Google)

A former Post Office delivery office is set to be converted into a new cafe and flat, with councillors set to give the plans the go ahead. Colchester City Council’s planning committee is set to agree the proposals made by Gezim Aliaj, for the site at 50 London Road, Stanway, outside Colchester at a meeting on Thursday (July 11).

The plans were deferred from the council’s committee due to be held on May 23 to allow the committee members to visit the site. It was then deferred again from a meeting on June 13 to allow for further details to be submitted relating to accessible toilets, pedestrian access and lighting, details of cycle parking, provision of eclectic vehicle charging points and disabled parking space.

If agreed the business is set to be open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, and set be closed on Sundays and public holidays. Stanway Parish Council has objected to the plans due to concerns about what it called “inadequate staff and customer parking” with three parking spaces being shown, it also raised concerns about a "lack" of designated disabled parking or cycle stands.

READ MORE: Essex GP prescribed himself drugs using patients' names and used them at work

READ MORE: The now-bustling Essex town that was nearly completely wiped out

The parish council also raised concerns about how there is only one toilet for both staff and customers and no disabled toilet facilities while there is seating for 26 customers. The parish council also said the use of the upstairs area has "not been explained" and that the application is retrospective, and the information supplied is "insufficient to make an informed decision."

There have been 18 letters of objection from residents in the area who raise concerns about: how the plans are in a residential area with private properties immediately adjacent to the site, concerns about the possible noise, odours from the cafe, and also concerns about footfall and associated parking facilities. Residents also raised concerns about how they suspect café vehicles will park on pavements and across driveways.

The council officer’s report states: “The National Planning Policy Framework makes it clear that the purpose of the planning system is to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development and identifies three dimensions to sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. In this respect the site lies within a sustainable location and is economically beneficial, with a reuse of a vacant building. It is considered any impact upon neighbouring residential amenity and highway safety can be effectively mitigated through planning conditions. Accordingly, the planning balance weighs in favour of the proposal.”

A spokesman for the applicant said: "The items raised in the original objections have been cleared with good communication with the council by my client. The additional offsite parking has been provided and an internal disabled toilet has been installed."