THE new owners of a vintage emporium are seeking permanent consent to carry on trading at their Bournemouth site.

The former Molly’s Den, now re-branded The Den under new owners Megan Noble and James Irvine, has been operating from its Francis Avenue industrial unit under temporary planning permission since 2012.

Its most recent consent expired in May, just a fortnight after the death of former company director John East-Rigby at his New Forest home.

The Den has submitted a planning application to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council seeking permanent permission to continue operating under the premises’ current mixed use.

Planning consultants Tanner & Tilley said in a statement to BCP Council that The Den’s owners have the “same, if not more, drive to improve the business and have already had detailed discussions (with more to follow) with the landlords about improvements to the property and in particular the car parking area.

“The business has experienced some turbulence in recent weeks, the result of which has meant it has come under new ownership and management who are keen to invest in the business and the properties but need some assurance that the use can continue indefinitely before being able to do so,” the statement continues.

Ms Noble and Mr Irvine have been in talks with the landlord about improving car parking at The Den, according to the application, and increasing the number of spaces for customers.

“The development has operated successfully and prosperously for over six years adding a significant boost to the local economy and providing a source of income for over 130 people,” it adds.

When it re-launched as The Den, Ms Noble and Mr Irvine said they had given the emporium a “complete facelift, painting the front a lovely dark green-blue colour”.

The inside has changed, too, with the couple clearing out ‘a lot of rubbish’ and taking the chance to redesign the floor area, going for a more industrial look inside the premises, where traders sell antiques, vintage and retro items.

“We’ve also re-done the till area and we’re already getting some great feedback, so much so that the ground floor is now fully rented out,” Ms Noble told the Echo at the time.

A Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council planning officer will make a decision on the planning application in the coming weeks.