A controversial application to partly change the use of an Abbots Langley public hall into a restaurant and cafe has been recommended for approval.

Three Rivers politicians are due to discuss the application for Henderson Memorial Hall, in High Street, at tonight’s planning meeting.

Proposals seek to change the use of the hall and make alterations to the building, such as relocating the main entrance and installing an illuminated fascia sign.

The Henderson Memorial Hall is used for theatre and musical performances and also holds coffee mornings, exhibitions and exercise classes.

The application submitted looks to change the existing bar and kitchen area into a coffee shop to be used during the day.

The only external alterations to the building, other than signage, would be the relocation of the main entrance to the hall.

Abbots Langley Parish Council has stated that it does not object to the change of use to the building, yet it does object to the safety issues of the design of the new doors, which they say should be set back from the building frontage and open outwards.

A total of 33 people were consulted about the application and three responses were received, two of which objected.

In support of the application, a comment read: "The relocation of the entrance will draw attention to the importance of the Henderson Hub. The importance of the building is the emphasis on the arts and community in Abbots Langley and this is an important project for the village."

An opposing comment read: "Abbots Langley is in the process of reviewing its situation with regard to conservation and the proposed internal and external lighting does not take this position forward."

It added: "A further café would compromise the other two cafés in the High Street and could lead to destabilising of the High Street."

A petition opposing the application was received by the council and contained 124 signatures from local businesses and residents.

The plans have been recommended for approval by council officers and a decision is due to be made at the planning meeting tonight.