Anger after council advice on business

Linda Scott was told that an application for her tea shop would pass, now she's being told it will be turned down. 15 High Street, Brandon.
Linda Scott was told that an application for her tea shop would pass, now she's being told it will be turned down. 15 High Street, Brandon.
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A WOMAN who is set to see her business dreams dashed has called a council’s behaviour ‘disgusting’.

Linda Scott is furious with Forest Heath District Council after officers said her application for a new tea shop in Brandon High Street had a good chance of being accepted - only for her to find out that it is doomed to failure.

Ms Scott was told in a letter on May 27 that changing the use of premises of the former site of Mulberry House Curios into a tea shop ‘could be supported by officers’.

But quotas imposed by the council mean only 51 per cent of units in Brandon High Street can be used as food outlets - a limit reached by the opening of the Centre Cafe.

Ms Scott said the positive response of the council meant she had made preparations for the shop’s opening.

“I made an initial enquiry that came back favourably. What’s the point of that if it’s going to be refused?

“I’ve got a lot tied up in this and it’s going to be my livelihood. So to be told now, having already got a lot of stuff ready for the shop, I really think it’s disgusting.”

Signs for the tea shop, to be called Tilly’s, went up on Wednesday and Ms Scott insisted she would be opening until she was told to close.

The shop will incorporate a dress agency at the back of the store with the tea shop at the front.

Ms Scott said: “So many people have been asked about what we are going to open as and we’ve had a lot of positive comments.”

Joanne Rogers, Forest Heath’s town centre manager for Brandon, confirmed that the quota restriction should mean that Ms Scott’s application will fail.

However, councillors can still pass the application at a planning committee meeting.

A Forest Heath spokeswoman confirmed that a decision was to be made by August 17.

She said: “Pre-application advice is an informal opinion only and, once a planning application is received, all factors and comments would be taken into consideration.”

The spokeswoman also said two objections to the plans had been received.