ONE of Lancing’s empty shops could be given a new lease of life if the 1950s-themed café next-door is allowed to expand into the premises.
The family-run Railway Station Cafeteria on Station Parade, South Street could be set to take over the old Mobility Centre, if planning permission is granted.
Both properties are set in the art-deco Luxor building, arguably one of Lancing’s most iconic landmarks.
Owner Tony Andrew said he was confident he and his partner Collette Luck and daughter Tracey Murphy would be expanding their business soon.
“It has more or less been agreed,” he said.
The trio have already leased the property and are awaiting planning permission before proceeding.
Mr Andrew said the council could not reject the application as it was for a retail premises, still in category A of the Town and Country Planning Order.
Mr Andrew said: “We will be doing light entertainment three-times-a-week, but nice and quite, not rowdy and clubby.”
But he said he would not be selling alcohol because it would attract the ‘wrong kind’ of customers.
“Obviously it’s going to affect other cafés in the area because we will be bigger and better,” he said.
“But we get wonderful comments on Facebook, no one has said a bad word about us. We do things for charity and people like us. We create as much excitement as we can here.
“We are here for the village and anything they want to do, we’re with them.
“If you go down the road it’s a ghost-town with number of shops that are boarded up.
“We don’t want that.”
An application to turn the next shop down into a taxi office was rejected in December as it would have meant changing the use to business (B1).
Under Adur District Council’s Lancing Vision, ‘town-centre uses’ such as shops, cafés, restaurants, bars and pubs are preferred in the area around the station and South Street, known as the ‘village heart’.
The Lancing Vison document states: “Applications for change of use must demonstrate that there will be a positive contribution towards the village character through the appearance of the frontage and the quality of the offer.”