Housing plan for former gift shop in Huntingdon

An application has been submitted to transform the Old Curiosity Shop into a two-bedroom flat

An application has been submitted to transform the Old Curiosity Shop into a two-bedroom flat - Credit: Archant

A former gift shop in Huntingdon is set to be turned into housing under plans submitted to the district council.

The Old Curiosity Shop has been empty for three years following the retirement of its owner, and now an application has been submitted to Huntingdonshire District Council to turn the building into a two-bedroom flat.

Kimbolton-based consultants, Hutchinsons has lodged the proposal on behalf of owner Clive Death who is aiming to carry out minor alterations and refurbishment to bring the property “back into good repair”.

The application only refers to the downstairs of the unit, in High Street, as the upstairs of the property is already housing.

“The interior of the former shop was in poor repair and it had deteriorated, because of the lack of use. The current proposal provides a viable and appropriate use for the premises, bearing in mind it is adjoined on both sides and above by occupied residential properties,” the application states.

It is proposed that any changes to the exterior of the property will be kept to a minimum, and the shop window will be retained, “so there will be little impact on the existing street scene”.

The developer has added that due the position of the shop - on the outskirts of the central shopping precinct - the flat “will be entirely in-keeping with the predominantly residential nature of this end of the High Street”.

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The plans noted: “Bearing in mind the very limited changes to the front elevation and the overall renovation of the property, together with the fact that the new use is entirely appropriate to the locality, we consider the proposal will provide a positive enhancement.”

At a meeting of Huntingdon Town Council’s planning application committee on May 25 members recommended that the proposal be approved.

However some Huntingdon residents have already taken to Facebook to share their dismay at the plans, with many suggesting that it would have made a good location for a tearoom or traditional bakery due to its proximity to the Old Bridge hotel.

The shop had been on the market with agents Barker Storey Matthews before it was bought by its current owners.

To view the proposal, go to www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk.