Proposal to demolish former pub, shops and garage hits stumbling block
- Credit: Archant
The prospective demolition of an old pub has suffered a setback after an alteration to the plans was rejected.
A proposal to knock down the former Waggon and Horses, on Chapel Street in Shipdham, has hung over the village for a number of years.
Adjacent retail units and Central Garage would also be demolished, before being replaced by flats, a convenience store and several new shops.
Permission was finally granted in March 2017 amid fierce opposition from residents and Shipdham Parish Council, and last week the scheme returned for discussion after the applicant sought to change the layout and make-up of the site.
The alteration would have seen site access moved further to the west of Chapel Street, allowing a greater staggered distance between this development and the prospective construction of 36 new homes on vacant land to the south side of Chapel Street.
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It also suggested re-locating the convenience store further east and included three new retail units to the west to accommodate the loss of existing retail units.
Another variation sought to move three residential dwellings to the north, away from the site frontage.
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But at its latest meeting, Breckland Council's planning committee voted 8-2 against the planning officers's recommendation of approval, citing the permanent loss of a business in the village. The council's adopted Local Plan seeks to 'retain community facilities'.
Following the decision, the applicant can either proceed with the original approved scheme, appeal the planning committee's latest refusal or submit a new application.
During initial consultation for the scheme, Shipdham Parish Council highlighted the loss of "important local village services", specifically Central Garage, takeaway shop Time 2 Eat and dog grooming parlour ABC Grooming.
One resident emphasised the plans "put existing businesses at risk", while another said the businesses were "assets to the village".
Time 2 Eat has, however, since closed on a permanent basis.
The council and a number of villagers also disputed the addition of new homes in an area "where they are not needed."
Permission has already been granted for 90 new homes on a coal yard located behind the site, prompting concerns over increased traffic congestion on Chapel Street and the strain on Shipdham Surgery in accommodating new patients.