New lease of life for fire-damaged cafe

The SL Sheesha Cafe, in Manchester Road, Preston
The SL Sheesha Cafe, in Manchester Road, Preston
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A former shisha cafe, gutted by fire, could be given a new lease of life if plans are given the go-ahead.

SL Sheesha Cafe in Manchester Road was devastated by a blaze in 2012 which tore through the Avenham building.

But now proposals have been lodged to redevelop the site and create three retail units and a flat.

The proposed development includes the cafe building, previously a garage and a gym, and a two-storey building, most recently used as a men’s hairdresser.

It is hoped the single-storey building will be restored from its fire-damaged state and converted into a local convenience store.

And plans suggest the other building would be split into two retail units, with new staff toilet facilities and a refurbished first floor.

The application also proposes that a second flat is added above the existing one, including a small roof terrace.

A design and access statement from the applicant said: “The application proposes a simple reinstatement of the existing buildings on the site to bring them back into beneficial use after a period of poor utilisation, and with a minor addition to enhance the overall commercial viability of the scheme.”