Tydd St Giles set to lose its only shop premises

PLANS to turn Tydd St Giles’ only shop premises into residential use are expected to get the go ahead next week, despite objections from the parish council.

The Village Stores in Church Lane closed earlier this year, when the owners failed to make a profit during the 10 months it operated, although it was backed with a government subsidy.

Objecting to the planning application to change the use of the shop which operates from an existing dwelling, the parish council says a village shop is the life blood of the community.

But a planning officer who recommends approval for the change of use will tell Fenland District Council’s planning committee: “Tydd St Giles benefits from a church, school, hairdressers and public house, and therefore, the village would not lose it community hub if the change of use is granted.

“Weight should be attached to the benefits gained by bringing the front room of a prominent building back into use by allowing the change of the space into residential.”

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The report says two different occupiers have failed to make the business viable, and the shop has only operated for one of the past five years.

“Whilst the situation is regrettable, it is not considered that the retention of the vacant unit would be in the interests of the amenities of the area or the community in general,” said the officer.

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Community charity Cambridgeshire Acre says it would help create a community shop in the village, which could be placed in a pre-fabricated building, church or village hall. The committee received 17 letters supporting the change of use, and 10 letters of objection.

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