A new pet shop and dog groomers will be opening up in a former ice cream parlor in Chester. Plans to convert the Carte D’Or At the River store on Mill Street in Handbridge were recently approved by Cheshire West and Chester Council.
It will become One Lucky Pup with the main shop area selling dog treats, accessories and grooming products. Hot drinks and cakes will also be available to eat in or take away.
The backroom would be used for storage and as a staff area. A small part of the rear of the premises would also become a dog groomers, by appointment only.
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A statement submitted by applicant Trimdog Limited said: “During the pandemic, dog ownership increased exponentially. The majority of dog groomers in Chester are based in homes where they have limited capacity and the small number of bricks and mortar shops in, and around, Chester are also at capacity with a minimum of six to eight week waiting times for appointments.
“With work-life changing permanently, and more people able to work flexibly, this demand is not going to go away and dog ownership is expected to continue to increase. The people who have welcomed pets into their lives over the last two years are generally more affluent (as the price of a puppy has increased by 5-600 per cent) and are more likely to seek out high quality products, accessories and food than go to high volume, low price out of town wholesalers or discounters in search of a bargain.
“This logic also applies to existing dog owners, too, a number of whom travel great distances (out of county) to purchase the right food and accessories for their pet and now wont have to!
“These ‘new’ dog owners are also typically families, or individuals, who have not owned a dog before. They are less educated (in dog ownership) and require more support and advice than seasoned dog owners.
“A main street presence in Handbridge, on a dog walking route to the Meadows, creates the perfect community hub for dog owners to visit with their pet to seek advice and support and purchase products from the pet shop. They are also more likely to then stay local in Handbridge and spend in the local economy instead of taking their pet to Pets at Home and then spend money in large supermarkets.”
It stated that there was an ‘important need’ to connect dog owners with other local pet businesses including trainers and walkers. It is hoped it will help ‘create a local community of dog owners who can support one another’.
The statement continues: “The community of Handbridge is woefully underserved in the supply of decent coffee, with the majority of residents traveling into Chester for coffee that meets their needs. This is for a combination of reasons: the quality of coffee service in Handbridge and the opening hours of existing coffee shops.
“In summary, with no significant changes to the structure of the property and the clear need for the services provided by a dog groomer and pet shop- there is a strong argument to grant approval to change the use license from A1 to Sui Generis for the property. We believe that this, combined with the option to sell hot drinks will encourage the local residents to ‘stay local’ and will much more closely connect dog owners in the area, improving community and the micro-economy of Handbridge.”
The unit had been opened first in 2002 as shoe and handbag shop Alec Edwards. It was turned into an ice cream store in 2020 before it went up for sale last year.
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