We are delighted to report that we received planning permission for our proposed community shop and cafe earlier this week.  This is fantastic news and takes us a step closer to our planned opening date of summer 2018.

Just a word of caution.  As the land on which we want to build the shop is owned by the Parish Council under a charitable trust, we also have to seek the consent of the Charity Commission.  We contacted them a while ago and are currently awaiting a response.  We will let you know once we have some more news.

Comments (3)

  • Neil

    It would be interesting to see the Parish Council post their business plan for this shop on the website so they can explain how they think it will pay for itself?

    Clearly the vast majority of residents will use the local Tesco or Sainsburys as they will offer a massively superior range of produce and far lower prices (unless the parish council have shown in their business plan some way to out-price multi-national supermarkets). This is why previous attempts at shops in the local neighbourhood have failed. Jonas offered a small selection of expensive and often out-of-date produce.

    I would also be interested to see how the construction of the shop itself is being paid for? Hopefully it is not coming out of the local precept as that would mean even if you don’t want it you are paying for it. Posting the business plan would hopefully answer a lot of questions. I assume there must have been one to get the planning permission.

    It would be a shame to see planning permission granted in prime real estate in the middle of the village only to have the main reason for the approval go broke in 6 months. I wonder if the planning permission would then remain for other development.

    • Village Administrator

      Your comment will be forwarded to the Community Shop Committee.

    • Village Administrator

      Hello Neil
      Thank you for your comments.
      First of all it is probably worth noting that although this project remains fully supported by the Parish Council, we do have a separate Management Committee now who are driving the shop project forwards. The Parish Council decided at an early stage that the shop would need a separate life of its own – so supported the establishment of a separate Community Benefit Society which will own and run the shop. This has the advantage that Community Benefit Societies are a recognised legal entity for community shops which helps with grant funding and will allow us to offer shares in the Society going forwards. The Management Committee comprises 5 individuals from within the village – some of us are also Parish Councillors, some have other roles within the village.
      We do indeed have a business plan which we are currently finalising. Keep checking on the website as this will be published soon. It should answer many of your questions. We don’t expect the shop to replace the “big weekly shop” that many do at Tesco etc. It will provide top up shopping for many – although some without access to transport may find it invaluable. It will have a range of basic groceries and local produce and crafts – creating a unique place to shop which we are confident will attract customers. It will be self sustaining. Community shops are a proven and resilient form of business (we have researched the market extensively) – their success rate far higher that the average small business. The business model is very different to commercial shops – the use of volunteers will enable us to keep costs down – and the community nature of the enterprise will ensure that many will want to use it. The 5 year survival rate for community shops is 99%. Local community shops (e.g. Kirdford, Lodsworth, Milland) are thriving.
      Costs will be met in a variety of different ways – from grants, a share offer in the Society and from donations and fundraising. If you haven’t already done so please do take a look at the April newsletter on the Community Shop page of the Website – this includes some further information about funding.
      We are pleased so many in the village are taking an interest in the shop and its development and are always happy to answer questions. So please do raise further queries as and when you have them.
      Alison Welterveden (Chair, Shop Management Committee and Parish Councillor)

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