15:00 Monday 03 December 2012

Hill application puts coffee shop rumours to bed

Written byby HELEN KREFT

A NEW betting office could open at a vacant shop in Burton — putting to bed rumours of a national coffee chain moving in.

William Hill has applied to East Staffordshire Borough Council for permission to take over the former Tunnel shoe shop, in Station Street, which traded for just a few months before shutting earlier this year.

It has applied for a new shop frontage and signs. Internal alterations will include a disabled toilet, a low-level length of writing shelf and/or tables which will be provided in front of televisions.

The application appears to quash rumours that a coffee chain had wanted to take over the building — suggestions which were always denied by East Staffordshire Borough Council.

The whispers began after plans to move Station Street food traders to the Market Place emerged.

It was later decided to keep them in Station Street, and move the outdoor market to join them.

Some claimed the coffee shop chain would take over a Station Street building ‘on condition the food traders were moved to improve the ambience.’

The borough council’s chief executive, Andy O’Brien, admitted that a coffee shop chain had been interested ‘and did take the view that relocating the street trading would be a good idea’.

However, he said the discussion took place ‘years ago’ and had no bearing on the proposed changes.

Robert Bradley-Richards, applying on behalf of William Hill, said four full-time and two part-time jobs would be created, with the office trading seven days a week, from 7am to 10pm.

He said: “In all circumstances, it will be clear that William Hill has included within the proposed formation of a new licensed betting office all possible alterations and fittings to provide disabled access and facilities within the restrictions imposed by the limitations of the existing building.”

A decision is due by January 10.

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