HUG A MUG IN GATEACRE BROW?
In our July 2017 Newsletter we described the plans for 28a-d Gateacre Brow, the black-and-white listed building on the corner of Sandfield Road . The new owners, Winter Melia Developments, were granted planning permission in November to convert the upper floors of the building, and the rear part of the ground floor, to five flats. The business use at the front was to continue, but shortly afterwards the tenants - the very successful Hair Fairy wig shop - moved out, having purchased 28 Gateacre Brow next door. Now the vacated space has been let to Emma Lahorgue and Natalie Myers, who are proposing to open a cafe called 'Hug a Mug'.
In their planning application (ref.17F/3169 & 17L/3398) they describe the proposal as a "cafe shop with sensory room to basement". They say that they will be seeking accreditation as "Autism and Dementia friendly". The sensory room, with soft padded walls and mood lighting, will give parents/carers an area for children to "let off steam and not be required to leave".
In our comments to Liverpool City Council's Planning Department, we highlighted the fact that the proposal will help retain the character of the listed building, and the presence of customers in the corner should help deter lorry drivers from hitting the overhanging timberwork, which has been a longstanding problem. We would not be in favour of alternative food and drink uses with longer opening hours (the currently-proposed hours being 8am-5.30 Mon-Fri, 8-3 on Saturdays) which might generate noise or cooking smells.
The Council's decision on the planning application is currently awaited.