Shirenewton residents campaign for village shop
5:10pm Thursday 15th August 2013 in News
VILLAGERS in Shirenewton who lost their village shop six years ago are opposing a bid by the owner of the building to turn it into a home.
Campaigners believe the shop failed to sell as a business because it was marketed at too high a price and want to see the shop re-opened.
Shirenewton community council believe the shop should be retained for the community as the nearest shops are currently 12 miles away in Chepstow.
One resident, who did not wish to be named said there is an ‘established need’ for a shop in the village. In letter to the Monmouthshire council, resident Lucy Kirham, of Clearview, said the shop played a key role in making Shirenewton a sustainable community.
The applicant, William Carrow Hill Farm, Magor, failed to win the support of planning officers on the grounds that it was marketed at too high a price and there is no other shop in the area.
The shop closed in 2007 and was bought at auction by Mr Jones earlier this year for £220,000. It had been marketed in 2011 for an asking price of £449,950 but failed to sell and was taken off the market in 2012.
Mr Jones said numerous attempts to sell the premises as a commercial venture at varying and realistic prices provides’ overwhelming evidence’ that it is not commercially-viable and should be considered suitable for a change of use.
At last week’s meeting of the planning committee, Councillor David Dovey said if villagers had used the shop, it would still be open for business.
He said: “ I have some worries about the valuation but the fall in price follows the demise of the village shop. Shops are closing all over the place.”
Cllr Doug Edwards said village shops do not survive because of the competition and that there is little chance of someone investing cash into the business to revive it.”
Cllr Maureen Powell disagreed. She said a similar shop in Llangynidr, near Crickhowell was vibrant and busy and that people would use the former shop in Shirenewton it if it opened and was run well.
The application was deferred until a later date to allow for Mr Jones to carry out a marketing exercise Speaking after the meeting Mr Jones said: "The reality is it was marketed for six years and no-one came forward with an offer. Even when it was marketed it at a low figure, albeit commercially, there were no takers."