Restaurant plans are revived for Royal George ballroom

Knutsford Guardian: The Royal George ballroom is above the Loch Fyne restaurant        n130474 The Royal George ballroom is above the Loch Fyne restaurant n130474

A RESTAURANT company is finally hoping to open in the old Royal George ballroom – more than five years after initially drawing up plans to move into the building.

The Individual Restaurant Company – which owns Piccolinos on King Street – first applied for permission to open a ‘Bar and Grill’ restaurant in the former Royal George ballroom in 2007 – and received permission to create the restaurant in 2008.

The former authority – Macclesfield Borough Council – rejected the plans.

However, in November 2008 the company successfully appealed against the decision.

An independent inspector said a new mezzanine floor would not spoil the character of the 18th century building, and added that the grade two listed former hotel would be more protected if it was filled by a business.

The unit has been empty since the Regent Street development was built in 2007, but the company has decided to keep hold of the unit.

This week the firm submitted plans to Cheshire East Council in a bid to gain permission to open a restaurant on the site.

In its latest planning statement to the authority the firm said the failure to open five years ago was ‘due to the general state of the economy’.

It adds: “Since the planning inspectors’ decision was issued in November 2008, the applicants have retained their interest in the site, but have not had the opportunity to implement the permissions.

“As a result, the rooms have remained vacant, which is obviously not desirable. The applicants wish to reinstate this planning permission and listed building consent to enable the proposals to be implemented.

“The proposals have been rigorously analysed at a public inquiry, and have been found to be an acceptable means of securing a viable use for the heritage asset.

“It is therefore requested that planning permission and listed building consent be granted.”

A decision on the application is due in early March.

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