Agenda item

22/01439/FUL Pittville Pump Rooms, East Approach Drive, Cheltenham, GL52 3JE


The planning officer introduced the report as published.


There was one public speaker and a Councillor who spoke on the item.  They were both in support of the application.


The first speaker made the following points:

·         It was recognised that the structure is not appropriate for the style of building.

·         The café is vital to the future sustainability of the Pump Rooms and the Trust as a whole.

·         A third of the Trusts income is generated from the Pump Rooms café and the Garden Café.

·         The café supports not only the Pump Rooms but the Wilson and free live entertainment family events.

·         There is the possibility that 18 employees will be made redundant if the facility closes.

·         If the café was moved into the Pump Rooms due to other bookings and commitments the café would only be able to trade for 70 days per year.

·         It is financially unsustainable to return to the trestle tables and kiosk that there was before.

·         There were so many representations in support that it is clear that the social benefits outweigh the aesthetic impact.


Cllr Andrews then spoke in support and made the following points:

·         The café is an invaluable asset to the town and to the Trust as it supports the buildings that the Trust is responsible for and its upkeep.

·         The loss of amenity argument seems weak as it does not impede on the view from other properties and is only partially seen from the west.

·         The fact that it is a Grade 1 listed building is largely irrelevant when talking about the café as there is no change to the Pump Room itself.

·         The issue must be supported as it is essential for cultural reasons and funds for maintaining the property.

·         It is more than economics it is about social and mental health benefits for people and that should not be ignored.


During the debate Members made the following points:

·         The trust should have appreciated the benefit of the café and been making plans for when it was going to be removed over a year ago.

·         The glass box detracts from the Grade 1 listed building, it is time to start reclaiming them.

·         There was no business plan to support the figures that were being provided.  An indoor café like the pump rooms in Bath would be a solution and be grand surroundings.

·         The Pump Rooms have always struggled to combine event functions with a café, however the aesthetics of the structure are not good and should not be supported.

·         This application is different to the 131 application as the café has not stopped the public being able to see the building.

·         The Trust needs to look at a more elegant structure if there is a commercial need.  It is good that the money goes back into the town to support the Trusts other properties and will support.

·         Although the location of the café is not the best, the beauty of the Pump Rooms can still be seen.  It will be for the greater good of the public if it remains and will support.

·         The Trust was in financial difficulty prior to the current team taking it over, it would seem that the café is a necessity to provide money back into the Trust and to remove that would seem reckless. Cheltenham Borough Council does not have the money to bail the Trust out.

·         The café is not a warm place and the justification is not there as the Pump Rooms will attract visitors regardless.

·         The applicant has had two years to come up with an alternative to the structure that they have at the moment. The Trust should be treated the same way as previous applications, acceptance that the Trust put money back into maintaining their buildings but there should be acknowledgement that 131 had also restored their property.

·         There are three other places in the park to buy tea, coffee and treats.


There was then an amendment moved for an extension of one year rather than two.  The proposal for the amendment was seconded and the matter was debated and the following points were made:

·         Whereas the attractiveness of a one year is appealing, it is not known if the Trust is financially relying on the two year plan as no business case has been put forward.

The planning officer then confirmed that the Trust was relying on a two year plan so a one year plan might not be feasible.


The amendment was then voted on and that fell.


The vote was taken on the officer recommendation to refuse:


For: 5

Against:  4








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