PLANS to open a new restaurant in the town centre have been dubbed a ‘no-brainer’ by councillors.
A proposal to convert Browning’s Solicitors on Market Place into a Turkish restaurant and take-away were given the go-ahead by a planning committee on Wednesday night (June 10).
The empty offices – which are next to Fever nightclub and the British Heart Foundation – would be changed into a ground and first floor eatery, while the second and third floors would be converted into living space for the owners.
The application, which was submitted to Redditch Borough Council by the owners of the Kingfisher Shopping Centre, would also see the basement converted into a food preparation area.
Ken Williams, centre manager for the shopping centre, said while several people had shown interest in the property which had been vacant for more than two years, no one had applied for full use of the building until now.
Coun Joe Baker said: “I think it was starting to look a bit shabby over the last couple of years and I know of one incident when the window was broken.
“I hate to see empty businesses on the high street so this is a really positive thing for that side of the town centre.”
Chairman Andy Fry also backed the plans because there used to be a restaurant at the same spot many years ago.
“This was a very popular town centre location for people that wanted a snack – it was and is a beautiful building.”
He added it was also a former Labour club where his mother and father first met.
“It’s good to see that a lovely building that has been boarded up will be used.”
Coun David Thain added: “It’s a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned.”
However Coun Michael Chalk expressed his concerns about its opening hours.