|Campaigning outside Montparnasse|
However, chatting to the owner it was clear that all was not well. After customers had said they would welcome the cafe's development into a fully fledged French Restaurant the owner applied for planning permission. This would involve change of use from Class A1 premises to Class A3 enabling cooking to take place on the premises.
Despite the fact that such a restaurant would enhance the quality of the offer in this area, amongst the betting shops and fried chicken shops, the Planning Committee turned down the application. This was done on the grounds that it would increase the proportion of non-retail premises on the parade and increase the number of 'dead frontages': 'Overall. it is considered that the proposal will further impact on this vitality and viability of this primary shopping parade and is considered unacceptable'.
There are no other restaurants (apart from a chicken shop with a couple of tables) on that parade except the Torch and Crock of Gold pubs. A French Restaurant would be distinctive and the only one for miles.
In pursuit of this 'vitality and viability' Brent Council recently approved the replacement of a bar/restaurant on the corner of Bridge Road and Chalkhill Road by an enormous Paddy Power betting shop, the third betting shop in the immediate area. This double frontage shop has a blank frontage.
Montparnasse has organised a petition in support of its application which can be signed at the counter. I urge you to pop in and sign it and sample the coffee and cakes at the same time.