Fenwick’s Café ‘half way there’ in bid to stay in Chichester’s Priory Park

Rob and Dawn Bunker, owners of Fenwick's Cafe in Priory Park, Chichester
Rob and Dawn Bunker, owners of Fenwick's Cafe in Priory Park, Chichester

A popular Chichester café has been granted permanent planning permission to stay in Priory Park.

Fenwick’s Café, which has operated in the park since 2014, had temporary permission and a lease from Chichester District Council that both expire in 2020.

But now that permanent planning permission has been secured, the focus for owners Dawn and Rob Bunker moves to securing an extension to their lease.

Dawn described the planning decision as ‘absolutely amazing’ and how they were ‘50 per cent there’.

She added: “There’s no reason now not to offer us a lease.

“At the end of the day we have got permission to keep the building on this plot. We would hope that common sense will prevail.

“What the council need to do is leave us alone, give us a nice long lease and refurbish the toilets.”

They are now trying to arrange a meeting with the council’s estates department to negotiate a longer lease.

Back in June council cabinet members voted to put the majority of proposals for Priory Park on hold as the officers’ preferred option would have involved removing the café buildings and instead letting the brick pavilion out as a café.

This essentially delayed any decision until the planning issues for Fenwick’s Cafe were resolved.

After these plans were announced there has been a massive outpouring of support for the business.

Dawn thanked customers and residents for their ‘overwhelming’ support.

A series of events are being held to celebrate the centenary of Priory Park in late September. Visit its website for more information.

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