A CHINESE restaurant could still expand next door into a former bridal shop after the original plan was thrown out by a judge.

Singapore Restaurant in Friar Street was looking to move into the former bridal shop Perfections Bridal Outlet which closed in April last year.

The expansion was approved by Worcester City Council planners in August but the decision was quashed two months later through a judicial review following a formal complaint from a neighbour.

It was decided through the review that the city council had failed to take some of the objections by neighbour Graham Lock into account when its planning department had made a decision and a mistake had been made by the council over national planning policy and policies in the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP).

Mr Lock had raised a number of concerns about the expansion plan and criticised the council’s heritage assessment for not being comprehensive enough.

Mr Lock was also concerned by the increased fire risk and increase in rubbish and noise.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys, acting on behalf of Mr Lock, said the change of use from retail to restaurant did not comply with a number of policies in the SWDP and said the expansion would have an “unacceptable impact” on Mr Lock’s privacy.

If approved, the two grade II-listed buildings would be joined by a new walkway and would allow the restaurant to have around 40 more covers.

A report, to be discussed by the city council’s planning committee on Thursday (March 21), said the building had already been extended across two floors at the back with a flat occupying the first floor.

In a number of letters submitted with the planning committee agenda, Carl Jukes, a city council conservation officer rebutted many of the claims made against the council by Mr Lock – particularly the validity of the council’s heritage report and the qualifications of the people compiling it.

A letter from the solicitor to the council’s planning department said the restaurant’s application had not provided sufficient evidence to show the expansion would not result in an unacceptable impact on Mr Lock or cause harm to a grade II-listed building.

The original decision in August was delegated to council planning officers but following the judicial review, a decision has been handed over to the council’s planning committee to make.

The city council’s planners have again marked the plan for approval.