Councillor thinks waffle house would be good for Honiton’s food options after bid to open in Axminster is refused
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One of Honiton’s district councillors has urged the people behind a failed bid to open a waffle house in Axminster to get in touch with him so the opportunity can be explored for his constituency.
Councillor Mike Allen, who represents Honiton St Michaels, said the venture would add some ‘variety’ to the town’s food scene.
An application to open the dessert parlour in Axminster’s West Street was submitted to district planners in November last year, with plans to sell the celebrated Belgian dessert to raise funds for local good causes.
The Community Waffle House would have opened in premises formerly run as an RSPCA charity shop. The venture has three directors Matt Smith, Tim Whiteway and Sophie Mclachlan and a team of around 20 helpers - with all the profits ploughed back into the community.
Despite the excitement caused in Axminster by the plans, the applicants’ hopes were dashed after district planning officers refused the application due to smell and waste concerns.
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Now, Cllr Allen wants to speak to people behind the venture so he can put them in touch ‘with the right people’.
“I am trying to encourage Honiton to be a good place for social enjoyment,” said Cllr Allen.
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“Part of that is to make sure there are good food options, but variety too. I travel to America regularly and enjoy waffles.
“It strikes me as a kind of opportunity to come to Honiton at just the right time.”
Cllr Allen said he failed to understand why the application to open the dessert parlour in Axminster was refused.
He added it was ‘very strange’ that a business be rejected because of odour concerns.
In their refusal notice, planning officers said it had not been ‘adequately demonstrated’ that use of the premises as a café would be acceptable in terms of the noise, odour and waste storage. They also said that there had been no evidence in the plans to suggest the venture would not ‘undermine the sustainability’ of the shopping area.
Cllr Allen added: “I think this is something that would give another alternative to the food options in Honiton, which would be very welcome.
“I think the whole idea is an excellent one and I wish the people concerned would contact me and I would put them in touch with the right people.”