A former butcher’s shop in Sutton - which has sat empty for more than a year - can be brought back into use after planning permission was granted for a cafe and delicatessen.

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Councillors on East Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning committee were satisfied that the plans for the former Hills, Harnwell and Rutterford butchers, in High Street, would help create investment in the village and voted unanimously to approve.

The applicant, Pete Petrou, caused controversy among neighbours of the shop last year when he entered plans to change its use to a deli and café with hot-food take away.

Neighbours said the hot-food element would attract a deluge of noise and traffic in the area and strongly objected to the district council.

However, after lengthy discussions with planning officers, Mr Petrou agreed to restrict the hot food element of the plans to an ancillary use – meaning sales of things like hot sausage rolls and toasted sandwiches would make up only about 10 per cent of the business.

The move placated Sutton Parish Council and, on Wednesday, planning officer Ann Caffall recommended to councillors that the plans be approved subject to strict monitoring.

She said: “The agreed wording of the application is a change of use from a previous butchers shop to a deli/café with ancillary hot food takeaway and installation of extraction equipment.

“There is no hot food take away and there is no manufacture of school meals on the premises.

“The primary use of the premises will therefore be a mixed use of delicatessen and café with any hot food being predominantly consumed on the premises in a small café area.

“The degree to which the hot food take away items are ancillary to the main use, is in practice a question of fact and degree.”

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