A COOKERY school could be set to open its doors in an empty shop in Poole High Street.

Change of use and listed building applications have been submitted to BCP Council by White Pepper Cookery Ltd to open its second premises.

The award-winning company is currently based at Bere Farm in the Dorset countryside, near Lytchett Minster.

Plans for the unit at 89 High Street would see the school created along with a café and dining area.

A design and access statement, submitted by Pure Town Planning on behalf of the applicant, said the chef academy and cookery school ‘feel this premises is perfect for what they need’.

Inside the shop, the dining area would allow students to ‘eat what they have created’ and for group classes to ‘share a meal together after being taught how to cook it’.

The unit was previously Barque bar and nightclub On The Roxx.

The nightclub lost its licence in 2016 after more than 50 incidents of ‘serious crime and disorder’ were reported in eight months, with Barque closing less than a year after opening in April of that year.

The statement submitted to the council referenced this period in the unit’s history, as currently it is restricted to only shop or financial/professional services use.

“It is believed the use was restricted to prevent it from being another late-night drinking venue (given the issues arising from previous uses of the site),” the statement said.

It added: “The proposed use will maintain the vitality and viability of the High Street attracting people to the town centre which in turn could assist other local business by linked trips.”

The proposed scheme would also create five full-time jobs.

White Pepper cooking academy offers ‘qualification courses for trainee chefs as well as a skills program for a range of different abilities from foundation level; home cooks looking to improve their cookery right up to experienced and existing chefs wishing to gain inspiration and develop new skills and competencies at advanced level’.

A neighbour consultation on the plans will end on February 27. There is no set date for a decision at this stage.