Rift over plans for Scandi-style deli next to Princess Diana’s favourite restaurant

Proposals for a sandwich shop next door to Princess Diana’s favourite restaurant have divided neighbours in one of London’s most exclusive enclaves.

Agents acting for residents in the Kensington building where the Launceston Place restaurant is based have said a bid to turn a florists into a Scandi-style deli and coffee shop will be “seriously detrimental to the well-being of the local community”.

More than 40 wealthy neighbours in the surrounding streets, where homes can sell for £10 million, are battling the bid, fearing the proposed change of use could pave the way for it to become a “burger bar, fried chicken outlet, fish and chip shop or a pizza parlour”.

One even suggested it could eventually become a nightclub. Another said Launceston Place, where the eight-course tasting menu with wine pairing costs £143, “suffices for their needs”.

The restaurant repaid Diana’s custom by naming a soufflé after her.

The proposals for the deli, which is located next to Princess Diana’s favourite restaurant, have divided opinion (PA)

Marianna Brammer wants to turn the art gallery and florists on the ground floor and basement into a delicatessen and coffee shop serving “Danish café food”, such as rye bread sandwiches, as well as “homemade healthy pizza”.

She said: “The area has several schools close by and many parents find themselves waiting between drop-offs and pick-ups … my desire is for these parents and children and the local community in general to have a healthy alternative to what is servicing the area already.” 

The application would allow it to open from 7am to 6.30pm, and 4pm on Sundays, with 28 seats inside and plans for another 18 in the courtyard and pavement area.

Controversial Diana tapes documentary splits viewers’ opinions

In the bid, planning consultant Paul Bottomley said: “The nature and intensity of the proposed use will ensure that there will be no significant impact on the amenities of the area.”

Among residents who have objected to Kensington and Chelsea council are ex-Barclays chairman Sir Peter Middleton, who said the cafe “will affect the special nature of the area” and Brideshead Revisited actor Anthony Andrews, 69.

He said: “Residents enjoy an oasis of calm from the busy areas around us … I cannot object more strongly.” 

About 30 residents back the plans. One, Cristina Pecorio, said: “It is somewhere for the community of parents and local residents to come and enjoy the beauty of the area.”

The cafe has been recommended for approval on Tuesday. Planning officers said it “would serve a use which is not currently fulfilled in this parade and could enhance the vitality of this row of shops”.

Source : http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/rift-over-plans-for-scandistyle-deli-next-to-princess-dianas-favourite-restaurant-a3607326.html