PLANNERS have given the green light to plans for a Thai restaurant to expand with a new coffee bar and café in the city centre.

Thai Gallery, which is based in Friar Street, submitted a plan to Worcester City Council looking to take over a vacant building previously used by Interior Furnishers a couple of doors away.

The proposal was for the restaurant to open the new cafe in the grade II listed building - which has been empty since August last year - using it as an overflow restaurant in the evenings for guests to Thai Gallery, which is also in Friar Street. The design of the new café and restaurant was expected to be similar to Thai Gallery's look.

The application was considered by Worcester City Council’s planning committee at its latest meeting, held at The Guildhall last Thursday.

Committee members heard there had been one objection to the plan, from a resident of Laslett’s Almshouses in Union Street who “strongly objected” to it fearing another late-night café and restaurant would create more noise on the busy city street.

During the officer’s presentation, councillors were shown pictures of the interior and in particular the upstairs areas which appeared in a very poor condition, with it being explained it was being recommended for approval, to improve the inside and put it back to use.

During the debate Councillor Stuart Denlegh-Maxwell said he was very much in favour of the plan, while Councillor Pat Agar said she was reluctantly approval the scheme, raising concerns about opening hours. Council planners clarified they had told the restaurant - that wanted to open until 1am at weekends -it would only be allowed to open between 10am and 11pm each day.

A vote was taken, and the committee voted unanimously to approve the scheme.

It is the second restaurant expansion in Friar Street in only a matter of months after a plan to extend Singapore Restaurant was recently backed by planners.

READ MORE: Thai Gallery restaurant in Friar Street could expand with new coffee bar if plans are backed