Friday, October 01, 2010

Caffé Connect Over

Plans for an internet cafe in the Broadway at Thatcham have been thwarted at
the final hurdle

THATCHAM'S chances of having an internet cafe in the town centre have been
thwarted at the final hurdle.
Paul Bullock, of Park Avenue, was given planning approval just this month
for an internet cafe which was going to be located in the Broadway at the
redundant Samson and George estate agents building which closed down several
years ago.
However, just before renovation works were due to take place, the landlord
of the building pulled out saying he was going to proceed with another
company which was purely retail use.
Now, Mr Bullock, who was hoping to have the internet cafe up and running by
early November, has said that his dream of turning the building into
community project was over.
He said: "I feel quite let down.
"I have wasted money on the application and fees on other things as well
such as a consultant.
"Maybe I should have signed the lease without planning permission but that
is risky and my solicitor said that same thing."
The aim of the internet cafe was to provide a place where young people could
meet with friends and use the technology which was available to them.
Mr Bullock had also hoped that the walls would be used to display and sell
art work by local artists and that the building would include a Thatcham
Vision Community Connect office, to give charities and local services an
outreach centre for organisations to publicise themselves and display
information leaflets.
Mr Bullock said: "It's upsetting news for us, we thought this venture had so
much to offer the town and community as a whole and it's something I have
wanted to do for a long while.
"I have been talking to a lot of people in the town about it - there were so
many people behind it.
"I have been looking around Thatcham but there is no where else and I don't
think I will be able to go through the whole planning process again.
"At this moment in time I can't see a way forward - it's a real shame."
When approached by the Newbury Weekly News, Richard Fearn of Langley Estates
in Slough declined to disclose the name of the company he is currently in
talks with to take over the lease.
He said: "We have just started the legal process.
"It's fairly early days and it will become apparent quite soon."

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