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Church Street shop is 'no longer viable' for retail use

Church Street shop is 'no longer viable' for retail use

Ashford Borough Council has approved a change of use application for the ground floor of the former Lloyds Bank at 24 Church Street, from A1 (retail use) to a yoga and therapy room.

The planning application did not propose any internal or external changes to the fabric of the Grade II listed building, or new signage, but the decision will result in the loss of retail premises in the centre of Wye. The case officer's report concluded that "Whilst this proposal would result in the loss of an A class use, which Policy TRS16 seeks to resist, marketing evidence had been provided to demonstrate that the property is no longer viable for this purpose."

"Further, the proposed development for a yoga/therapy use would bring a vacant unit back into a commercial use thereby supporting the local rural economy in accordance with national planning policy. I do not consider that the proposed development would cause demonstrable harm to highway safety or cause substantial harm to the listed building or character and appearance of the conservation area. I therefore consider that on balance the application should be approved."

Wye Parish Council regretted the loss of a small shop, and drew the officer's attention to the lack of off-road parking in the centre of Wye, but supported the application for the reasons above.

After Lloyds Bank closed its Wye branch in 2010 the 392 sq ft premises operated as a gift shop. The applicant, Alison Belsom, trading as Sunfish Yoga and Therapy Ltd from Mersham, has run popular weekly yoga classes in Wye for over ten years.

Posted: Tue, 14 Feb 2017 15:15 by Admin

Tags: Church Street, Local News, Planning Application