PLANS for a cafe and children’s play area at the site of a former bakery in Rogerstone could be rejected due to concerns over a lack of parking.

A planning application to change the use of what was the ‘potato room’ at the former Avana Bakeries site on Wern Industrial Estate has been recommended for refusal when it comes before Newport City Council’s planning committee next week.

The building would house a 267sq metre café seating area with the remainder of the floor area being used as a play area, a kitchen, store rooms, reception area, toilets and two offices.

It would open seven days a week and would run three, two-hour play sessions a day from 9.30am to 11.30am, 12.15pm to 2.15pm and 3pm to 5pm. Nine staff would be employed, with no more than three working at any one time.

The applicant has drawn up a map showing that there are a lack of children’s play area facilities on the western side of Newport.

“The applicant has also highlighted that the café is a vital element of the business and they would be focusing on providing nutritionally balanced and portion controlled children’s meals, an offer which they identify as lacking in comparable facilities across south east Wales,” a council report says.

“They also provide evidence of a basic Facebook page introducing the business which gained 100 followers in 24 hours, the comments on the page are supportive and often raise the lack of children’s indoor play facilities in the local area.”

However, concerns have been raised over parking provision and pedestrian safety.

Four parking spaces would be provided within the forecourt and a further 18 have been offered at the back of the building. But planners say the spaces at the back of the building are not ‘acceptable’.

“This area is not considered to be a safe environment for members of the public to use, particularly children who are the customer base of the proposed use,” the report says.

It adds: “The council’s highways officer does not consider that safe pedestrian access has been provided between the parking spaces and the site.

“It is considered that the remote nature of the spaces and the poor quality of the pedestrian route will deter future customers from using them and parking would be displaced onto the highway.”

The council’s economic development officer has also raised concern about “further loss to leisure” on the industrial estate.

“The economic officer objects to the change of use in order that the city is able to continue to attract and support inward investment and growth,” the council report adds.

Avana Bakeries closed last year after more than 60 years in business.

Plans to relocate the gym, Evolve Fit, within the former bakery building were rejected in the summer.