New home could be just the ticket that seals fate of Fenland village shop

A VILLAGE shop could re-open if councillors approve a two bedroom housing being built next to it.

Fenland District Council Planning Committee will be recommended by its officers to approve the scheme for Christchurch next week.

Owner Nigel Russell had his proposals turned down earlier this year after the committee felt the new home would have an “overbearing impact” and also wanted the existing shop front restored.

Now Mr Russell has returned with amended plans which officers believe “on balance do provide a more sympathetic development”. The width of the new home has been reduced, the shop front retained, and the design is now “more in keeping with the street scene.”

They add: “Parking and amenity has been addressed.”

Although the proposals attracted two letters of objection, there were 13 other letters in support.

There has been a corner shop in the vikllage for many years but it has changed hands many times and now remains empty, says a report to councillors.

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Opponents of the current proposals believe the new home is being “shoe horned” into a small area and doubt the shop in the long term will be viable.

However supporters say a well stocked shop would be an asset, there is little or no public transport, not all residents can drive and the nearest shop is three miles away.