London

Cat cafe: Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium given go ahead

Cat at a cafe in Tokyo
Image caption Cat cafes are popular in other parts of the world

A cat cafe in east London has moved a step closer to opening after planning permission was granted.

Lauren Pears was given approval from Tower Hamlets council to open Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium on Bethnal Green Road in Shoreditch.

Ms Pears initially turned to crowd funding to raise £109,000 for the project.

The cafes are popular in Japan and Austria, but Lady Dinah's is set to be a first for London.

The Emporium will have in-house cats which visitors can play with and stroke while they have a drink.

The plans show it would be split into three parts: an area for the cats; one where people can mix with them and another where food and drink would be served and prepared.

The cats will come from an animal rescue charity.

Legally the only stipulation is that animals cannot be near the area where food is prepared.

Cat cafes first opened in Japan in 1998 however recently some have opened in European countries such as Austria and Russia.

One opened in Totnes, Devon, earlier this year.

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