Instructed to submit a planning application for the erection of a new village store with a flat above and a new house.
- The site comprises Herons Reach which is a Grade II listed residential property part of which also accommodates the village shop. The shop was also extended many years ago.
- The owners have been trying to sell the property and shop for some time without success. The location of the shop within the house meant the two had to be sold as one. Difficulties obtaining finance for commercial premises contained within a listed residential property led to interested parties unable to purchase the site.
- We were asked to advise on options for separating the shop from the house. The shop was a valuable asset to the community providing a range of services including a post office, pharmacy collection and banking facilities alongside groceries. Our clients were keen that a shop remained on site so we considered all redevelopment options.
- We considered there to be enough space to site a new shop detached from Herons Reach. This would allow for the restoration of Herons Reach enabling it to be sold separately.
- The shop was proposed to have a flat above to appeal to provide an attractive package for prospective purchasers.
- Part of the garden to Herons Reach that would sit behind the new shop/flat was not well used and we included proposals for a further new dwelling here to ensure efficient use of the site.
- Whilst the planning authority was broadly supportive, they felt that permission could only be granted if a Section 106 was entered into requiring the development to be built out in a certain order. Such a requirement would have made it financially difficult for our clients to deliver the scheme but our suggestion of an alternatively worded condition was rejected.
- We subsequently submitted an appeal and the Planning Inspectorate agreed a condition would suffice and granted permission in July 2020.
- Our claim for costs against the Council for unreasonable behaviour was also granted in full.