Plans for a new ‘Instagram zone’ waffle bar hit a snag over fears customers will have to ‘make their own bathroom arrangements’

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Plans for a new ‘smoothie waffle bar’ in Stockport have hit a snag after councilors demanded more details about the sanitary facilities there.

Shakedown, which also has restaurants in Withington and Wythenshawe, wants to add a third location near Stockport’s Cheadle Hulme railway station.

The company, also known for its burgers, applied to take over a former education center at Metropolitan House on Station Road.

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With capacity for 24 people, it would have an Instagram area where customers would take pictures with an “artistic display” before sharing their images on social networks.

The proposal was brought before the Bramhall and Cheadle Hulme South area committee on Thursday night, but councilors refused to back the plan, citing a lack of details and information.

Members expressed concern that the guest facilities appeared to consist of a single handicapped toilet.

Despite being informed that internal design was not a planning consideration, councilors were not prepared to support the change-of-use proposal.

County Mark Hunter said, “It’s not the design, it’s the provision of basic facilities. There are no public services in that neighborhood.

“The concern that we as members would have, and I’m sure is understandable, is that if sufficient facilities are not provided, logic dictates that people will have to make ‘alternative arrangements’, to put it as delicately as I can.

“And that is definitely not something we would want to encourage anywhere, let alone in the middle of this area. I just find the advice disconcerting that it’s not a relevant consideration.”

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Metropolitan House, Cheadle Hulme, Stockport.

Hunter County said there were “too many questions” left unanswered, and that it was “poor” that the applicant had not come to the meeting to provide more details.

His views were echoed by councilor Brian Bagnall, who said the number of restrooms would be relevant to the licensing committee should the venue plan to sell alcohol on the premises.

However, it was not clear whether this was the case and the applicant was not present to clarify the matter.

Further concerns were raised about the number of parking spaces at the restaurant.

Although 16 bays would be available after 5:30 pm, only three of them would be dedicated for customer use during the day.

Earl Hunter told the meeting, “The problem is that this planning application [is] for a restaurant that will be open from 12 noon.

“Parking in the center of Cheadle Hulme during the day is excruciatingly difficult at the best of times.

“If it opens from 12 noon it means that it will be open all afternoon, and it will attract a clientele that will want to support it throughout the afternoon, I am not sure where those people will park.”

Councilmembers were advised that even if there were no dedicated parking spaces, the application would likely be recommended for approval.

Case officer Jane Chase explained that planners expected businesses to be concentrated in the district centers, while Cheadle Hulme also had good public transport services and other parking.

However, the councilors were not happy to support the request as it was.

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They unanimously agreed that it should be raised to the main planning committee, and the applicant would be asked to provide more information regarding the sanitary facilities and whether the facilities would be licensed.

The Bramhall and Cheadle Hulme South Area committee met at Fred Perry House on Thursday night (Jan 27).

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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