After opening the Abbotts Ann Millennium Street Fete, Sir George looks in on the Village Shop stand. With Julie Moon, secretary of the Village Shop Association, he looks at Cherry Irwin's painting of the proposed shop.
"The Village Shop is making good progress - see below -
and showing other villages who have lost their shops how to fight back."
Extract from progress report by AAVSA.
Why a new shop and post office?
The existing building was sold as a residential property in November 1998 to Mrs Wheen. It has only been due to her generosity and that of her family (since her death at Easter this year) that we have been able to continue trading. This has been in a restricted shop area and with reduced hours, but the village have continued to support the project.
Purchasing the site
Through a mixture of memberships, donations, loans and grants, £73,000 was raised allowing the Association to purchase the land by Church Path. It is clear that further finances have to be raised to build the new shop and Post Office. A lottery grant application was submitted in April 2000, with a decision expected in November. If this is not successful we will need to raise further funds and your financial support will be needed if this project is to succeed.
Planning a shop for the future
A lot of research has gone into various aspects of our new shop. Other Village Shop Associations in Southern England were contacted, and advice sought, particularly from those who had been involved with restoring old buildings and new builds. The Village Retail Services Association (ViRSA), Countryside Agency, Conservation, Environmental Health, Highways and Planning departments of TVBC all contributed to our investigations.
In order to fund the building of the village shop it was necessary to seek and obtain planning consent for the erection and sale of a dwelling on the plot behind the proposed shop.
On 18th May 2000 planning permission was granted by Test Valley Borough Council for the demolition of the cob barn and the erection of the shop with the flat and the dwelling to the rear. It was reported to be one of the most thoroughly researched projects they have seen for some time.