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Gloucestershire Business News

EXCLUSIVE: Oz-style Cotswold café gets thumbs up

An Australian-style café chain that has seven outlets across the Cotswolds - and another in the pipeline - has been caught in a planning snag over its update and conversion for its latest premises in the heart of Northleach.

Lechlade-headquartered Lynwood and Co is owned by Antipodeans Robert Broadbent and his wife Kats, who have a declared mission to bring "Australian coffee culture to The Cotswolds". 

In December, the business was told by planning officers that it must seek retrospective approval on signage relating to its latest new business in the popular tourism destination.

Lynwood and Co's café at the Island House in Northleach took over from the former Muzzy's Kebab and Pizza house and subsequent Northleach Take Away in the town's picturesque Market Square last July, removing signage for the previous food outlet and replacing it with the company's signature grey-and-white livery.

The move to the town made globally famous by the BBC 3 comedy series This Country came on the back of the Broadbent's success in establishing a chain of outlets across Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, with seven now operational, while a spokesperson told Punchline-Gloucester.com, a plan is under way to develop a further café in Witney.

Lynwood and Co's website states that Rob's parents established the original Lynwood cafe in a small rural village in Australia in 1998. The café chain's focus is on artisanal food and ingredients and it works in partnership with celebrated flour suppliers Shipton Mill, based in Tetbury.

The site states: "It was founded on the back of an already successful jam and chutney business called Lynwood Preserves. The cafe quickly grew from a small operation, serving tea and scones to an award-winning restaurant in an amazing setting.

"Fast forward to 2014, Rob and Kats moved to England with the intention of bringing Australian coffee culture to The Cotswolds. We opened our first site in Lechlade in January 2015 and since that day we have grown to seven sites supported by our own central production kitchen and bakery with help from our partners Irene Molodtsov and Rory Colfer."

In the wake of a report before Cotswold District Council, the work has now been retrospecively approved.

The report said: "The signage for which retrospective consent is sought matches the scale of the previously approved signage. The colour, a dark grey with a white vinyl lettering, is considered appropriate for the sensitive heritage location of the site and respects the character and appearance of the host building a non-designated heritage asset. The use of timber is welcomed.

"Overall, the signage is not considered to harm the character and appearance of the site and conservation area, nor adversely impact the significance or setting of any nearby listed buildings.

"The signage is non-illuminated and is fixed to the elevations of the building. As such, it is not considered to have any adverse impact on highway safety for vehicle drivers or pedestrians."

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