DETAILS have been revealed over plans for the Ivy to open in Bournemouth town centre.

The famous London restaurant is progressing its proposal to take on the former New Look store in the Square.

Troia (UK) Restaurants has already applied to BCP Council for a licence to sell alcohol and play recorded music.

Now the Ivy Collection’s holding company has submitted a full planning application to the local authority to make alterations to the existing shopfront and create an outdoor seating area.

The restaurant would be located on the ground floor of the Bourne Avenue premises.

The proposed entrance to the Ivy would be on the southern elevation of the building in Richmond Hill, a change from the access to New Look.

A planning statement submitted by Pegasus Group on behalf of the applicant said if alternative uses other than retail are not considered for the town centre, such as restaurants, units will remain closed.

“More and more vacant units will begin to appear in the town centre and as a result, the town centre will become vacant, and the vitality and vibrancy of the town centre will be seriously affected,” the statement said.

“Retailers are struggling at present and more and more retail units are being forced to close.

“This is for a number of reasons, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the cultural shift towards online shopping.

“Town and city centres are seeing more leisure, restaurant and bar uses within town centres to bring people back to these areas and improve their vitality and vibrancy.

“People are now opting to use town and city centres for socialising and enjoying the food and drink offer, as opposed to visiting for shopping.”

The statement said the Ivy would draw customers from further afield to the town centre, while also attracting trade from passing shoppers.

The proposed alterations to the shopfront, which is currently boarded up, would see a “high-quality design which will improve the overall appearance of the unit and the street scene”.

The outdoor seating area would feature nine tables providing 28 covers, along with 12 planters and a waiter station.

Pegasus Group’s statement said the area is suitable for outdoor seating, citing other nearby venues including XOXO, Obscura Café, Franco Manca and The Moon in the Square.

The planning application has already attracted support from one member of the public within days of the scheme appearing on the council’s website.

The Grove Road resident described the proposal as “excellent” and “just we need in the centre.

“Somewhere comfortable for locals and visitors to relax and watch the world go by during the day and evening,” they added.

“Absolutely support this application. Positive addition for Bournemouth centre.”

As reported, New Look closed in February after the fashion chain was reportedly ousted by the landlord.

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