Cafe/ Restaurant Use Refused In Rayleigh High Street

The District Council has tonight refused planning permission for a change of use in Rayleigh High Street.

The application was for no. 74 High Street, which until recently was Johnsons Dry Cleaners. This is a retail use, and the application was to change it to restaurant/cafe use. In fact, it would have become a Pie and Mash shop.

Officers were recommending approval, but councillors refused it on the grounds of it being against our council retail policy of at least 75 % retail use in the town centre….


  1. I see just about every vacant unit in Rayleigh has been let or is under offer. Does anyone know what’s coming to the former Johnsons drycleaner site, former Secrets hairdressers, the unit next to the Police Station, the former Oxfam shop and Sandersons? I’m guessing a Carphone Warehouse, Subway and Starbucks to compete with the competition?! Allot of change to the High Street for 2014.

  2. Richard,

    There are two ways of looking at this one. At least firms are taking up the shops instead of, like some places, units staying empty almost indefinitely making the place look run down. We have to accept that the role of the traditional high street is changing. I wonder how many people that bemoan this fact go home and shop on line ?

  3. Hi Oz. To be honest I wouldn’t mind a Subway and Starbucks, I like both very much. But the format of Rayleigh High Street is repeated over and over so I can’t see any shops that will buck the trend. Even a pound store that is truly a pound store would be a refreshing change.

  4. The properties are mostly if not all owned by private individuals and companies. Landlords look to get the higher rent and the best tenants in terms of financial status in the same way anyone would when renting their flat or house.

    You cant tell companies where to go, if they think money can be made by moving to the High Street they will.

    People moan about high street rents but its the business rates than kill business, sometimes this can be as much as the rent. Its true to say that people buy online as its cheaper then moan about the prices in shops (higher overheads).

    Everyone likes to have an opinion about about who should be where and what they should sell but it the real world, this means someone else investing money possibly their life savings into new ventures and its really up them to decide where to open a shop and not anyone else.

    Rayleigh in essence is an excellent High Street with virtually no vacant shops, only Elan is currently available as far as I am aware.

  5. So the old dry cleaners will be a caf้ and the secrets a subway (so I have heard) this is simply insane to have subway favourite chicken grouts fish and chips a caf้ and a pub on one small stretch of road surely this takes the towns food occupancy way above the 75%.
    I understand its better to have filled shops rather than empty shops but more food places is this really something Rayleigh needs. the town is full to the brim of eating places, hairdressers and estate agents why would people venture to Rayleigh when they have all of them in their own towns or closer to their homes

  6. To AA:

    Subway work off A1 as I understand it and dont need planning so you cant stop them coming to the Town.

    If people didn’t eat in these establishments they wouldn’t survive. In recent years many retailers have opened and shut. Shoe shops, toy shops and other local retailers have tried and failed.

    If you want to blame anyone for whats in Rayleigh blame the people who shop and eat there.

    For yoru information, its not what Rayleigh needs, its what can survive.

    If you are so sure what Rayleigh needs why dont you open a retail shop?

  7. AA

    Most small retailers cant compete with bulk buying large companies and Rayleigh doesn’t have enough footfall or large enough local population to support small profit margins.

    Hence, service providers and food retailers open up instead.

  8. George & AA,

    You are both spot on, like it or not this is the way High Streets all over the UK are going, and for all the people that moan about it then put your money where your mouth is. Sorry to be harsh but that’s a fact.

  9. [EDITED]

    George Easton
    Re: post 58
    With every respect, I take my hat off to you. Someone advised me to read your post on Chris’s web site, something I rarely do… All I can say is that you have hit the nail squarely on the head in your assessment of the situation. Well done sir!
    Keith Hudson

  10. #61 – suggest you read it more often / participate ,as there are a lot of good points made on here , a real indication of the strength of feeling among residents.

  11. Why refuse a pie and mash shop? I agree with #58 and #61 it would seem. If a planning application were to come along that would be against the public interest for moral reasons fair enough lets all have a moan, but it’s only a restaurant.

    #57 AA – if its a good restuaurant people will come to Rayleigh from other towns as well as Rayleigh, if there’s one thing people will travel for its their bellies. A good dry-cleaners? I’m not so sure.

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