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MP calls on squatters to clear out of planned Brighton restaurant
An MP has called on squatters to clear out of an iconic city building after plans were re-submitted to turn it into a 274-seater restaurant.
Chain TGI Fridays has struggled for months to put together an application for the Old Post Office in Ship Street, Brighton, because it is occupied by squatters.
Last week they resubmitted for planning permission although developers say they are still unable to get inside the building.
Mike Weatherley MP for Hove, who last year pushed his squatting law through parliament, said: “Yet again we see anarchistic squatters disrupting the everyday processes of normal society.
“They continue to peddle their myth about highlighting problems with empty properties and homeless issues when in reality they have no concern for either and are just doing it to cause a nuisance.”
Walsingham Planning, who are based in Buckinghamshire, who are again representing the American chain, submitted the latest plans last month.
The papers reveal blueprints for a 274-seat restaurant with a separate bar area with 25 stools.
The chain is set to provide 120 jobs and has potential for flats above the restaurant.
The Grade II listed building was built in 1898 and used as a post office until May 2007.
It has been vacant ever since and in recent years has been taken over by squatters.
The developer has stated their intention to use the grand banking hall as the main dining area although admit they are unsure as to the condition of the interior.
Mark Thackeray, of Walsingham Planning, said: “As far as I know the squatters are still inside.
“We have worked around the issue so far but plans are now in place to evict them.
“This shows the commitment of the chain to bring the restaurant to Brighton.
“We don’t know what state the place is in but have put aside £750,000 to fix it up.”
Brighton and Hove City Council officers have set a date of mid-April to decide on the plans.