Application made to turn Southsea's former Laura Ashley store into cafe/bar

AN APPLICATION has been submitted to turn an empty shop into a new cafe and bar.

The former Laura Ashley store
The former Laura Ashley store

Loungers Limited wants to transform the former Laura Ashley unit in Palmerston Road, Southsea.

It has put in a premises licence to sell food and alcohol until 11.30pm Sunday to Wednesday and 12.30am Thursday to Saturday.

The application for the restaurant, which would be called Southsea Lounge, said: ‘The venue is to be located within the former Laura Ashley retail unit over two floors.

‘The proposed operation will be a food-led continental style cafe/bar with food available all day and an external area at the front of the venue within the recessed entrance.’

A decision on whether to grant the licence will be made by Portsmouth City Council’s licensing sub-committee after a resident made an objection.

They raised concerns about noise and anti-social behaviour.

The neighbour said: ‘I live close to this property and we have a large problem with late night anti-social behaviour spilling out from Palmerston Road.

‘Another licenced property open late will only add to this behaviour.

‘We have drunken fights, alcohol-related vandalism, assaults and thefts and issues with parking in and around Palmerston Road.

‘Another licensed premises will not bring any benefit to the community.

‘There are lots of bars and coffee shops around and they sit empty all day and then have rowdy clientele abusing locals and disturbing residents’ sleep.’

A decision will be made next Wednesday during the meeting at 10am at Portsmouth Guildhall.

As previously reported in The News, fashion and home company Laura Ashley closed in July last year as part of the company’s realignment programme.