Original Article: A coffee shop boss has been left feeling a bit of a mug after spending £50,000 doing up his new café only to find he didn’t have planning permission.
Julian Preston-Powers spent months sorting out the new premises and ploughed thousands of pounds into fittings and furnishings.
Ten days after opening the new Intenso Espresso Bar franchise at Goldstone Retail Park, Hove, he was told he would have to close – and wouldn’t get back a bean of his cash.
Mr Preston-Powers said: “I’m absolutely furious to be honest.
“We’ve spent about £50,000 putting in all sorts of things like the marble floors and comfy seats.
“I’m not going to get any of that money back now.”
Mr Preston-Powers, who owns the Intenso UK franchise rights, moved into the new premises on the second floor of Marsha’s furniture shop.
He has another Intenso shop in Portland Road, Hove, and runs a successful chain of other branches scattered across the country.
He was given advice that he could go ahead with his café.
He opened it at the end of January and served customers for ten days before realising he had a problem.
Brighton and Hove City Council said he did not have planning permission to use the building as a café.
Mr Preston-Powers said: “I was told by the people who own the building that planning permission was not an issue so I went ahead and got going with it.
“Then after ten days of being open I was told I would have to shut and pull it all down.
“It’s a pretty ridiculous situation to be in and a big waste of money.”
It is unclear whether he will be able to gain planning permission for the café in the future and Mr Preston-Powers has indicated he is likely to abandon the plan and turn to other premises.
A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said the issue had arisen because the shared building did not have permission for mixed use.
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