Plan to open underground restaurant under Brighton church

The Argus: The Chapel Royal at the corner of Prince's Place The Chapel Royal at the corner of Prince's Place

An underground restaurant could be opened in the vaults beneath a city centre church.

A planning application has been submitted to Brighton and Hove City Council to open an eatery underneath the recently restored Chapel Royal in Prince’s Place.

The developers behind the plans said the restaurant would offer “something completely new” to the Brighton dining scene.

But one furious local said the application was “downright crazy” and should be rejected.

The team behind the plans is mother and son duo Jo and Marcus Thompson, who own a number of other developments across Sussex.

If their ambitious plans are given the go-ahead, the new 80 covers restaurant would be opened in the “exciting space” under the Chapel Royal church next year.

The cavernous vaults, which no longer belong to the church, had been on sale since 2004 and were previously used for storing files.

Cavern style

Paul Burgess from planning consultants Lewis and Co, who is working with the Thompsons on the proposal, said it was “a fabulous idea”.

He said: “We’re not trying to open a late night venue. This would be a family restaurant based on the cavern-style restaurants you see in places like Prague.

“It’s too early to say what kind of food would be served, but if we can get this through it would be great news for the city.”

But one angry resident of Prince’s Place, who did not wish to be named, said: “This plan is of course downright crazy in view of the fact that there are already enough restaurants in this area to feed an army.

“It is a horrific idea.”

Talking point: How do you feel about a restaurant under the Chapel Royal? Is it exciting or a 'horrific idea'? Share your views by commenting below or email letters@theargus.co.uk to post your response on our letters pages.

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Comments (24)

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11:28am Wed 19 Dec 12

campotolox says...

Perhaps on the menu will be bread and 5fishes?oh and a plate at the door for tips!!
Perhaps on the menu will be bread and 5fishes?oh and a plate at the door for tips!! campotolox

11:47am Wed 19 Dec 12

bruce_ says...

It is certainly hard to see the need for yet another eating place in this city. No doubt due attention would be given to fire escapes etc.if it does go ahead -- thus in theory reducing the income of existing restaurants!
It is certainly hard to see the need for yet another eating place in this city. No doubt due attention would be given to fire escapes etc.if it does go ahead -- thus in theory reducing the income of existing restaurants! bruce_

11:54am Wed 19 Dec 12

Ballroom Blitz says...

I hate eating where you can't see out. Horrible idea.
I hate eating where you can't see out. Horrible idea. Ballroom Blitz

12:02pm Wed 19 Dec 12

Notters_Seagull says...

WOW, the number of NIMBYs in this place never ceases to amaze me. Sounds like a cool idea.

How is "there are loads of restaurants already" a reasonable grounds for objection anyway? Decent restaurants attract more visitors to the city and raise revenue. I could understand your objections if this was to be a McDonalds but you sound as petty and pathetic as the Noble group did when they objected to the restoration of the West Pier.
WOW, the number of NIMBYs in this place never ceases to amaze me. Sounds like a cool idea. How is "there are loads of restaurants already" a reasonable grounds for objection anyway? Decent restaurants attract more visitors to the city and raise revenue. I could understand your objections if this was to be a McDonalds but you sound as petty and pathetic as the Noble group did when they objected to the restoration of the West Pier. Notters_Seagull

12:04pm Wed 19 Dec 12

Notters_Seagull says...

Ballroom Blitz wrote:
I hate eating where you can't see out. Horrible idea.
No-one's forcing you to go there are they? One of Brighton's top rated restaurants (Drake's) is in a basement but it doesn't seem to stop them from being popular.
[quote][p][bold]Ballroom Blitz[/bold] wrote: I hate eating where you can't see out. Horrible idea.[/p][/quote]No-one's forcing you to go there are they? One of Brighton's top rated restaurants (Drake's) is in a basement but it doesn't seem to stop them from being popular. Notters_Seagull

12:11pm Wed 19 Dec 12

bluemonday says...

why does one idiot deem it downright crazy and horrific,on the basis theres already alot of restaurants,if somebody wants to open a business using there money good luck to them,having too many of something does'nt stop them issuing taxi licenses
why does one idiot deem it downright crazy and horrific,on the basis theres already alot of restaurants,if somebody wants to open a business using there money good luck to them,having too many of something does'nt stop them issuing taxi licenses bluemonday

12:17pm Wed 19 Dec 12

Lady Smith says...

campotolox wrote:
Perhaps on the menu will be bread and 5fishes?oh and a plate at the door for tips!!
And, of course, a wine list that features nothing but water...
[quote][p][bold]campotolox[/bold] wrote: Perhaps on the menu will be bread and 5fishes?oh and a plate at the door for tips!![/p][/quote]And, of course, a wine list that features nothing but water... Lady Smith

12:42pm Wed 19 Dec 12

funky feet says...

I always feel uneasy about any part of a church building being used for commercial activity but they were foolish enough to sell it off so it would be hard to complain whatever it turns out to be. I wish the new owners well and think it would relieve some of the pressure on existing restaunts at lunch time.
I always feel uneasy about any part of a church building being used for commercial activity but they were foolish enough to sell it off so it would be hard to complain whatever it turns out to be. I wish the new owners well and think it would relieve some of the pressure on existing restaunts at lunch time. funky feet

12:58pm Wed 19 Dec 12

mustaphaLeeko says...

I bet there will be more customers at the restaurant than at the Church above!!!!!

Maybe they could call it something funky like "Saints Above and Dinners for Sinners... Below" hahaha!
I bet there will be more customers at the restaurant than at the Church above!!!!! Maybe they could call it something funky like "Saints Above and Dinners for Sinners... Below" hahaha! mustaphaLeeko

1:17pm Wed 19 Dec 12

billy goat-gruff says...

There's already a restaurant under St George's church in Kemp Town.
There's already a restaurant under St George's church in Kemp Town. billy goat-gruff

1:51pm Wed 19 Dec 12

campotolox says...

Oh my god,what about The Vic for a name,na dont think i will be going there because you probably have to wear a collar rather than a tie,na i wont get in the habit but expect there will be a pew that do,ye masses!!
Oh my god,what about The Vic for a name,na dont think i will be going there because you probably have to wear a collar rather than a tie,na i wont get in the habit but expect there will be a pew that do,ye masses!! campotolox

1:58pm Wed 19 Dec 12

toldsloth says...

To the residents of Princes Place - I looked at purchasing a flat in your overpriced building a few years ago but decided I had to have parking and that it would probably be quite noisy at night due to the businesses and revellers. If you didn't consider the latter when purchasing then more fool you. Get a grip and stop the NIMBY attitude - this is certainly not a "horrific" proposal
To the residents of Princes Place - I looked at purchasing a flat in your overpriced building a few years ago but decided I had to have parking and that it would probably be quite noisy at night due to the businesses and revellers. If you didn't consider the latter when purchasing then more fool you. Get a grip and stop the NIMBY attitude - this is certainly not a "horrific" proposal toldsloth

3:42pm Wed 19 Dec 12

leobrighton says...

Excellent plan and I may go there myself just to annoy the idiot objector
Excellent plan and I may go there myself just to annoy the idiot objector leobrighton

3:58pm Wed 19 Dec 12

John Fallon says...

All very well but the problem is that they will have to dig out the basement floor to provide enough headroom, which would be tricky and also mean that they'll have to change the entrance, which is Listed. Then there's the potential for fire beneath the church. Remember Terre a Terre? I'm not convinced that there's enough justification to allow Listed Building permission and change of use permission in an area that is stuffed full of restaurants. As to the café under St George's, you need to ask the locals. They're not impressed.
All very well but the problem is that they will have to dig out the basement floor to provide enough headroom, which would be tricky and also mean that they'll have to change the entrance, which is Listed. Then there's the potential for fire beneath the church. Remember Terre a Terre? I'm not convinced that there's enough justification to allow Listed Building permission and change of use permission in an area that is stuffed full of restaurants. As to the café under St George's, you need to ask the locals. They're not impressed. John Fallon

4:16pm Wed 19 Dec 12

AmboGuy says...

Sounds great to me.

Poor poor locals though, they must have thought that moving to such a quiet and unassuming residential area as this they wouldn't get restaurants opening up in the area.

NIMBYism at its best!
Sounds great to me. Poor poor locals though, they must have thought that moving to such a quiet and unassuming residential area as this they wouldn't get restaurants opening up in the area. NIMBYism at its best! AmboGuy

5:42pm Wed 19 Dec 12

Nitrous_McBread says...

Excellent idea. But why stop at the basement? The whole building would make a lovely restaurant and give people real sustenance!
Excellent idea. But why stop at the basement? The whole building would make a lovely restaurant and give people real sustenance! Nitrous_McBread

6:48pm Wed 19 Dec 12

leobrighton says...

Sounds more suited to being opened up as a trendy bar
Sounds more suited to being opened up as a trendy bar leobrighton

9:47pm Wed 19 Dec 12

Hoarder12345444 says...

Oh yes, I bet the catacombs of that church have ghosts for entertainment too!!
Oh yes, I bet the catacombs of that church have ghosts for entertainment too!! Hoarder12345444

12:56am Thu 20 Dec 12

I'm Batman says...

As long as there's still somewhere to perch from above, I'm fine with it.
As long as there's still somewhere to perch from above, I'm fine with it. I'm Batman

8:08am Thu 20 Dec 12

simps46 says...

could be habit forming
could be habit forming simps46

8:09am Thu 20 Dec 12

simps46 says...

monk fish on the menu?
monk fish on the menu? simps46

8:30am Thu 20 Dec 12

sussexguy says...

Brighton already has masses of restaurants, but, quite frankly, most of them are overpriced crap. A really good, reasonably priced one would be very welcome. Maybe the staff could be dressed as nuns and monks. Not sure about it being a "family" one is a good idea though. Noisy, disruptive kids running around is not really conducive to having a good meal.
Brighton already has masses of restaurants, but, quite frankly, most of them are overpriced crap. A really good, reasonably priced one would be very welcome. Maybe the staff could be dressed as nuns and monks. Not sure about it being a "family" one is a good idea though. Noisy, disruptive kids running around is not really conducive to having a good meal. sussexguy

12:33pm Thu 20 Dec 12

Old Ladys Gin says...

Lady Smith wrote:
campotolox wrote:
Perhaps on the menu will be bread and 5fishes?oh and a plate at the door for tips!!
And, of course, a wine list that features nothing but water...
Will they charge corkage if you bring your own :)
[quote][p][bold]Lady Smith[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]campotolox[/bold] wrote: Perhaps on the menu will be bread and 5fishes?oh and a plate at the door for tips!![/p][/quote]And, of course, a wine list that features nothing but water...[/p][/quote]Will they charge corkage if you bring your own :) Old Ladys Gin

12:42pm Thu 20 Dec 12

Old Ladys Gin says...

sussexguy wrote:
Brighton already has masses of restaurants, but, quite frankly, most of them are overpriced crap. A really good, reasonably priced one would be very welcome. Maybe the staff could be dressed as nuns and monks. Not sure about it being a "family" one is a good idea though. Noisy, disruptive kids running around is not really conducive to having a good meal.
Simples, don't go to any eating place that serves childrens meals.
The little loves gobble down their chicken nuggest then make a nuisance of themselves because they are bored.
Go to one of the few that gives young children an empty plate! Yes that right.
That way they take adult food from the adults and have to eat at the same pace; everyone finishes the meal at the same time.
It works elsewhere and I can't think 40 odd million Spaniards are wrong as you rarely see disruptive children; mostly you'd hardly know they were there as they are concentrating on eating real food.
[quote][p][bold]sussexguy[/bold] wrote: Brighton already has masses of restaurants, but, quite frankly, most of them are overpriced crap. A really good, reasonably priced one would be very welcome. Maybe the staff could be dressed as nuns and monks. Not sure about it being a "family" one is a good idea though. Noisy, disruptive kids running around is not really conducive to having a good meal.[/p][/quote]Simples, don't go to any eating place that serves childrens meals. The little loves gobble down their chicken nuggest then make a nuisance of themselves because they are bored. Go to one of the few that gives young children an empty plate! Yes that right. That way they take adult food from the adults and have to eat at the same pace; everyone finishes the meal at the same time. It works elsewhere and I can't think 40 odd million Spaniards are wrong as you rarely see disruptive children; mostly you'd hardly know they were there as they are concentrating on eating real food. Old Ladys Gin

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