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Permission granted for flats and shop on site of former Capers restaurant in Dibden Purlieu

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WORK is under way to transform a former restaurant in Dibden Purlieu into a new commercial premises with four flats above after New Forest District Council granted permission.

The application by Smart Property Group Ltd for the site of the former Capers restaurant in Beaulieu Road is an updated version of a previous application which would have included alterations to create a café on the ground floor.

However, documents submitted to the council explained that when work began on site it was discovered that brick joints had degraded to such a degree that on safety grounds the front elevation of the existing building needed to be completely removed.

The former Capers restaurant had been boarded up for some time (picture: Google)
The former Capers restaurant had been boarded up for some time (picture: Google)

Due to the extent of the work exceeding those previously granted, a new application was required for the replacement building, which has the same footprint as the original.

The ground floor will now be occupied by communications company Smart Numbers, which has outgrown its premises in Hythe marina.

The application received 13 letters of support. It was also recommended for approval by Hythe and Dibden Parish Council.

One resident wrote: “I have driven past the old Capers site every day since it closed and watched it become an eyesore and site for vandalism. It has been a thorn on the high street for too long now and it is good to see that the site is finally being used for business and accommodation use.”

Another added: “Happy to see something happening with this site after so long.

“Also glad there’s more housing being added to the area.”

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