TWELVE jobs could be created at a landmark rural cafe if redevelopment plans by a local food firm are given the green light.
Cottage Delight of Leekbrook, which produces speciality foods, has submitted a planning application for an extension to the existing cafe and the creation of a new retail area at Windy Ridge Cafe, Winkhill.
The cafe building sits on the main A523 Leek to Ashbourne Road, around four miles out of Leek. The premises also has a large car park.
Work would involve demolition of the present flat roof extension and its replacement with an extension to reflect the original 'pavilion-style' cafe building.
The premises has operated as an independent eatery since it was sold off as part of a restructuring of the Little Chef chain.
Ward councillor for the area, Linda Malyon, said she was thrilled that a local company was planning to take over the cafe.
She said: "Cottage Delight is recognised all over the world as a reputable company. It is great to see a Moorlands company retaining the business and also creating jobs."
A design and access statement, submitted on behalf of the applicants, said: "The application proposes a substantial investment in the building to improve its appearance and its capacity to attract tourists to the area, and also customers to the site.
"The applicant is a well known local purveyor of speciality foods.
"The application enables this reputation for quality food to be expanded into the service of table meals. A range of foods will also be displayed for sale within the cafe.
"The site is well placed alongside a major route handling traffic to Alton Towers and the National Park, and linking Leek and Ashbourne.
"The proposals will generate six full-time and six part-time jobs."
The plans, which have been submitted to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, propose a modest extension to the existing building, which will result in a net ground floor from 209.3 square metres to 256.3 square metres.
The statement adds: "The extension will result in the removal of unattractive additions and a remodelling of the roof, including the removal of dormer windows, and in doing so delivering a much more attractive building to the site.
"The layout of the cafe on the site is unchanged. However the proposed extension facilitates a radical change to the internal layout of the cafe, enabling suitable access from the front of the site and the provision of an element of food produce sales.
"Opportunities to eat outdoors have also increased.
"The elevation of the building faces the car park used to have open pavilion-style veranda. This was lost by the large flat roof extension which has a poor design and detracts from the quality of the landscape.
"The proposed building will be an asset to the area and will sit well within its landscape setting."
A decision on the planning application is expected to be made within the next eight weeks.