AN “EXCITING” bid to convert an empty Horndean shop into a pizza restaurant and wine bar has been given the thumbs up.
The conversion of the former Spar convenience store on London Road into a sophisticated “tapas, pizza and wine bar sort of place” is just what Horndean needs, according to Mark Pope.
The building, which has been empty for around two years, was snapped up by Denmead firm, Cummins and Pope, which specialises in fitting out restaurants and pubs.
They’re now getting ready to spend some dough having been given permission by East Hampshire District Council to change the use of the building from retail to restaurant.
The boards have already come down with hopes high that the unit will re-open in mid-October as Four London Road.
The firm mulled over a move for “three or four months” but director Mr Pope is confident the eatery will fill a gap in the market.
He said: “It’s definitely an opportunity, not just for us but also for Horndean.
“There’s a few places to eat in the village but we felt it needed somewhere for the slightly elder 35 years-plus diner.
“It will be something exciting for the village. It’s had a bit of a downturn in recent years and this will be something fresh.”
The development is also expected to create around half a dozen jobs with applications for kitchen and floor staff all being welcomed.
Villagers gave a mixed response to the scheme when the proposals were unveiled during spring, with concerns being raised about the lack of parking and possible noise.
But there was also plenty of support with several residents backing the application for the extra trade and vitality it would bring into the village centre.