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New town centre restaurant on the cards

PUBLISHED: 14:59 07 October 2018

Alford Brothers in Felixstowe - how it used to be Picture: SU ANDERSON

Alford Brothers in Felixstowe - how it used to be Picture: SU ANDERSON

An empty shop in Felixstowe is set for a new lease of life – conversion to a place to eat.

There was always plenty of choice at Alford Bros, Felixstowe Picture: LUCY TAYLORThere was always plenty of choice at Alford Bros, Felixstowe Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Plans have been approved by Suffolk Coastal District Council for the old Alford Bros cycle shop in Hamilton Road.

The application was submitted through an Ipswich planning agent to create a restaurant or café which would open from 10am to 11pm on Monday to Friday and 11am to 11pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

The application – which was for a change of use, internal fit-out and shopfront renovation – gives no details of who would run the restaurant or what type of cuisine it would be at this stage.

It says the venture would create six full-time jobs and four-part-time.

Happier times for Alford Bro - 
David Alford and Paul Jennings Picture: LUCY TAYLORHappier times for Alford Bro - David Alford and Paul Jennings Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Felixstowe Town Council has given its blessing to the project and recommended Suffolk Coastal planners approve the application.

There were no objections and the decision was taken by planning officers at the district council.

Case officer Jane Rodens said 18 of the 32 shops on the north side of Hamilton Road were shops and it was considered that an extra restaurant would not have a detrimental impact on the current mix that are located along this stretch of the primary retail frontage, as there is a wide ranging mix of services and shops located along this road. Alford Bros was the only vacant shop on this side of the road.

She said: “Therefore it is considered that the application is acceptable for the change of use of the shop, as it conforms with policy.”

Alford Bros waiting for a new use Picture: ARCHANTAlford Bros waiting for a new use Picture: ARCHANT

Family business Alford Bros was a part of the town centre for 50 years until its closure earlier this year, selling cycles, accessories and carrying out repairs.

The cycle shop was first set up by brothers Ken, Eric and Fred Alford back in 1962.

The shop remained a family-run venture, run in its final years by Ken’s children David and Sally, with three further employees.

As well as children’s bikes, the Hamilton Road shop sold hybrid, road, electric and mountain bikes, with about 150 new and used models in stock at any one time.

The store also sold a range of new and used motorcycles and scooters.

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