Inspector set to visit the possible Wagamama site

THE PLANNING inspector will visit the proposed site of a Wagamama in Chichester this month, as a decision approaches for the Japanese restaurant.

The noodle bar applied to convert the site in South Street, currently occupied by Store Twenty One, into a restaurant at the end of 2012, but the application was refused by Chichester District Council.

Following a public outcry at the council’s decision, an online petition garnered more than 700 signatures in support of the chain coming to the city’s streets.

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Wagamama duly appealed the decision and the planning inspector is due to visit the proposed location of the restaurant on Tuesday, May 28 at 2.30pm.

Typically, decisions made by the planning inspector are published within five weeks of the date of the Inspector’s site visit – meaning a decision could be made by the start of July.

At the time of appealing in February, Sharon Cawthorne, director of property at Wagamama, said: “We are delighted with the support and enthusiasm local residents of Chichester have given towards a new Wagamama restaurant and we would like to extend our thanks for this.

“We certainly hope that we can still arrive in Chichester in 2013.”

The district council refused the initial application because it said it would undermine ‘the vitality and viability of the city centre’.