Cafe backed but access is a worry

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Latest business news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A Sudbury shop’s plan to build a cafe received town councillors’ backing on Monday despite concerns over access for people with disabilities.

Winch and Blatch has submitted plans to turn its furnishing department, located on the first floor, into a cafe and toilets.

Sudbury Town Council’s planning committee recommended the plans for approval on Monday but said it would like to see provision for disabled access.

Speaking at the meeting, councillor Jack Owen said: “I understand a store of this size wanting to cater for and keep customers as long as possible by having a cafe.

“I don’t think they have taken into account people with disabilities. Why they haven’t got facilities there already for disabled people who would like to use the upper parts of the store, I don’t know.”

Councillor Oliver Forder said that, as some parts of the building date from the 14th century, costs may prove prohibitive, while councillor Simon Clarke added: “It might actually lose them customers but that is something for them to worry about.”

Merchandise director Judith Blatch said last week that the company had shelved plans to join its main and homeware stores with a walk-through bridge due to economic reasons.

However, councillor Nigel Bennett said: “If this is part one, with something to come at a later stage for the walk-through section, then that may get around the disability access issue.”

The application is due to be determined by Babergh District Council by the start of October.