An application has been submitted to the council to bring a new specialist Arabic coffee shop to the outskirts of a town.

Businessman Babar Afzal, trading under the name AA Properties (Blackburn), lodged an application with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council just before Christmas and plans to bring the specialist coffee shop to a premises on Whalley Range.

Mr Afzal has applied for planning permission to convert the downstairs of a terraced house from a residential dwelling to a shop, which will include a new shop front.

The application states that the Arabic coffee shop, located within the 'vibrant Whalley Range area', would result in new-business formation and job creation.

Lancashire Telegraph: The new specialist Arabic coffee shop will be located on Whalley Range in Blackburn

The plans state: "The applicant seeks to bring about a new commercial unit specialising in Arabic coffee and light snacks, promoting consumer choice, resulting in new-business formation and job creation."

The property is located just 35m from the boundary of the Whalley Range designated centre and is surrounded by terraced properties to three sides with commercial properties to the southeast.

The application goes on to state: "The applicant seeks to bring to fruition a new retail unit, promoting consumer choice and generating sustainable economic development and job creation for local people.

"Significant weight should be placed on the need to support economic growth and productivity, taking into account both local business needs and wider opportunities for development.

Lancashire Telegraph: The new specialist Arabic coffee shop will be located on Whalley Range in Blackburn

"Permitting the proposal will bring about additional job creation for local people as well as a positive supply-chain impact, something which ought to be welcomed in a borough where the employment rate for males is just 69.5 per cent, significantly lower than the regional rate (77.3 per cent) and the national rate (79.6 per cent).

"Proposals which result in additional jobs ought to be looked upon favourably in town’s with higher than-average levels of unemployment and welfare dependency such as Blackburn and it is within this context that the application ought to be considered."

Mr Afzal argues that the location of the proposed coffee shop is ideal as it is within walking distance of high-density residential settings and within a cluster of existing shops that are mainly accessed on foot from the surrounding side-streets.

However, the council’s Highways officer recommends the refusal of the application on the basis that the proposal would generate an increase in parking numbers with no parking offered in support of the proposal.

The existing parking in the adjacent streets is fully saturated and the adjacent highway is characterised by double yellow lines immediately outside of the property.

It is recognised that the site is sustainable, however Highways state that not all visitors will be from the immediate area as the bazaar attracts visitors from a wider area; and it is considered that the parking need cannot be supported by the existing provision.

Despite this it is considered that the proposal should be approved regardless of these objections as the premises are close to local bus routes. Easy access by public transport is provided by buses using Whalley Range and Limbrick/Shear Brow.

A decision on the plans will be made following a period of public consultation which runs until January 20 2022.

Lancashire Telegraph: