Chulmleigh shop plans rejected

Proposals to convert empty shop into a flat is turned down by planners

PLANS to convert a Chulmleigh shop into a home have been turned down by North Devon Council.

The proposals for a one-bedroom flat at Colmer House, in Fore Street, were refused because planners wanted to preserve the continuous row of traditional shop fronts within the town’s conservation area.

Officers also felt the accommodation lacked external amenity space and internal storage space.

They said that while a shop may not be viable now, the unit remained potentially suitable for use and should not be permanently lost.

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Chulmleigh Parish Council also objected to the proposal on the grounds that it did not want to lose another commercial property to residential use.

It said: “The property forms part of a parade of shops which are integral to the future sustainability of the parish community shopping needs.”

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Developers argued that the shop had only managed to attract various short-term letting for a number of years. It was last used an office for a firm of solicitors but has been empty since November 2007.

A design and access statement said: “Today there are now even more empty shops in Chulmleigh, showing that the need for business premises has severely declined while demand for residential is ever increasing.

“We feel that an occupied property will always appeal to Chulmleigh as a whole, whatever its purpose.”

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