THE COUPLE hoping to transform the former Sadler’s fishmongers into a boutique bistro have hit back at concerns that there are too many restaurants and cafes in Penarth town centre.

Ken and Janice Holland-Hannen have applied for planning permission to open a boutique bistro called ‘The Pheasantry’ at the Royal Buildings premises on Victoria Road.

They have also applied for permission to replace the steel-roll shutters with folding doors, in a bid to replicate restaurants in Europe, and are hoping to get the go-ahead for both planning applications in the next few weeks.

During a Penarth Town Council planning committee meeting last month councillors raised concerns about the ‘over preponderance’ of restaurants and cafes in the area, and said that this should be taken into consideration when deciding whether to grant the change of use planning application.

They also said that the folding doors change should be in line with shop front directives and shouldn’t detract away from the architecture of the building.

But Ken and Janice Holland-Hannen have said that they wouldn’t be in competition with surrounding restaurants as they offered something different.

Mr Holland-Hannen said that they were disappointed to see Sadler’s close, but that they had been inspired to transform the building and come out of retirement after they visited The Crazy Bear Hotel in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.

“The decor was so fantastic we tried to take as much as we could from there to bring here,” he said.

“It’s going to be somewhere where people can come to enjoy an evening, where the ambience is very warm and relaxed.”

He added that they have tried to retain the character of the former Sadler’s fishmongers, which traded in Penarth for more than 114 years, by restoring two paintings that hung on the walls and installing railings that were previously used to hang turkeys on around the bar.

The bistro has also been given the name ‘The Pheasantry’ in a nod to its fish and game history.

The couple, who have owned the building for the last 15 years, said they had always worked in the catering industry and had come out of retirement to open the bistro.

The planning application for change of use and a new shop front is set to go before the Vale Council Planning Committee later this month.