A Chester-based homeless charity is itself looking for a new home after it emerged the landlords are seeking planning permission to convert the property back into a restaurant and café.
ShareShop opened in Northgate Street in early 2016 but it was always known the owners would eventually want the building back.
Applicants Acaster LLP have applied for permission to turn the premises, formerly an ice cream parlour, back into a café with al fresco dining which it is thought will be ‘more intensively used’ when the Storyhouse cultural centre opens on May 11.
Charity co-founder Adam Dandy said: “We’ve had the premises as a pop up shop on a rolling 30-day contract since we opened on the 16th of January 2016. The landlord kindly gave us the whole building free of charge as we saved him paying rates as a registered charity.
“We are currently looking for another similar deal but no location confirmed as yet. Direct aid and food will still be delivered directly to the city’s homeless via our ShareVan whilst we relocate.”
The location of the shop has proved controversial with some because of issues around anti-social behaviour among a small minority which led to the closure of the café-side of the operation on police advice.
Previously homeless people were able to visit and enjoy hot drinks paid for by members of the public but now the shop is concentrating on raising money by selling clothes.
Mr Dandy continued: “So far the shop has raised over £70,000, half of which is being saved to buy a house where we can rehouse people who are homeless in the city and help them to find employment and move on into rented accommodation.
“The other half has been spent on sending locally sourced aid directly from Chester and North Wales to refugee camps in Syria, Greece and Uganda amongst other locations.”