SUCCESSFUL objections were raised to revised plans for a takeaway in a Georgian terrace close to Chester's historic city walls.

Bee Anthony told planning officers she was seeking approval to use part of a conservation area grade two listed building at 13 Bridge Place on Lower Bridge Street as a cafe with hot food takeaway.

There would also be alfresco seating on cobbles at the front.

A previous application was refused in October last year, according to a report.

Mrs Anthony had reduced the alfresco area which would now be in front of the cafe only and would not extend in front of adjacent residential properties.

The premises, adjacent to the city walls close to the Bridge Gate, had approval for a change of use from an antique shop to a tea room in 1981, councillors heard.

No takeaways were allowed.

Mrs Anthony said the premises would continue to be a cafe but would include a hot food takeaway with two tables in the alfresco area, each with four chairs.

The cafe would be open from 8am until 11pm.

No objections were raised by the County Engineer or by environmental protection or conservation officers.

Chester Civic Trust said it was concerned at the accuracy of the plans as it believed the tables would impede access to the city walls.

The trust felt cobbles and a slope would make the area unsuitable for alfresco.

Neighbours sent in 12 objections arguing the extension of hours and the introduction of a takeaway would not be in the best interests of the area.

They feel the alfresco would be out of keeping and the change of use would affect the character and appearance of the conservation area.

Concerns about possible litter, air pollution and noise were also raised together with the suitability of the area for alfresco seating.

The city council had a letter from the Queens Park House Residents Association in Handbridge supporting the alfresco.

Mrs Anthony said the takeaway would serve hot sandwiches and similar food and would not be a Chinese takeaway.

She explained that at present there are no restrictions on the hours of opening of the cafe and that litter would be collected.

Her plans were accurate, she insisted and Mrs Anthony said she valued the area.

City planners suggested the change of use would not have an unacceptable effect on the city centre as the premises are an established café.

The alfresco seating would add to the vibrancy of Lower Bridge Street and attract pedestrians.

They described the outdoor seating as “high quality” and felt it would preserve the character and appearance of the conservation area.

The tables and chairs would be placed on the cobbles and would not cross the entire pavement or impede access to the walls.

It was not thought the alfresco would affect neighbours or create unacceptable noise although planning officers recommended the alfresco area should close at 7pm and there should be a one year temporary permission to enable the situation to be reassessed if Mrs Anthony wished to continue with the alfresco.

City centre councillor Gwyn Cooper (Lab, City & St Anne's) told a meeting of Chester's planning board the application had followed enforcement action involving test purchases.

“The area has been used for alfresco for some time,” she claimed.

She pointed out that takeaways “could open a can of worms”.

Bridge Place is mainly a quiet residential area, she said and a neighbour's front door is immediately adjacent to that of the cafe.

Cllr Cooper circulated photographs to the board showing alfresco customers sitting outside the neighbour's bay window.

She said there was no personal animosity involved but the takeaway would affect neighbours due to disturbance, noise and litter.

Environmental health officers had been asked to investigate cooking smells, she revealed.

Cllr Cooper believed it was “unrealistic” to allow tables on the cobbles and added: “I do not think the plans reflect the situation.”

She could not see how the alfresco could be achieved without affecting the neighbours.

Commenting that suggestions had been made that decking might be installed, Cllr Cooper said: “For heaven's sake this is a conservation area.”

She moved refusal due to the unacceptable detrimental impact on neighbours.

Boughton Heath City Cllr Jim Latham (Lib Dem), an architect, said he had measured the al fresco area “and it is certainly not as stated in the application”.

The space was "dreadfully uneven" and not at all suitable for an alfresco.

Nearby occupier Cllr Razia Daniels (Con, Handbridge & St Mary's) referred to “the charm of the conservation area” while Upton Grange Cllr Hilarie McNae (Con) suggested that part of the charm was the uninterrupted flow of cobblestones down Bridge Place.

The board agreed on a unanimous 13-0 vote not to accept the advice of their officers and refused Mrs Anthony permission.