Two new village shops proposed for Huntingdonshire

A TEENAGER from Pidley is hoping to open her own business if planners grant permission for a new shop in the village.

THE death of the village shop looks to be an exaggeration in Huntingdonshire, where two new stores are being planned.

Both Pidley and Spaldwick could be getting new shops, subject to all the usual planning permissions.

In Pidley, teenager Sophie Hopkins, 18, whose parents own the nearby Lakeside Lodge, has applied to Huntingdonshire District Council to open a farm shop in Warboys Road.

If successful, the shop will be built on land west of Old School, close to the village hall, and create three full-time and two-part time jobs.

It would be open seven days a week, selling locally-sourced vegetables, fruit, meat, preserves, seasonal produce, eggs, baked goods, fruit juices and cheeses.

There would also be a tea-room as well as 17 parking spaces and a cycle rack.

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This is the second time the Hopkinses have appealed for permission to open a shop in the location. Planners rejected the original application in April on the grounds that it would result in a “dominant and visually-intrusive feature, which would adversely affect the character, appearance and open nature of the site and the surrounding area”.

The family has now re-applied and appealed against the refusal. A decision is expected in October.

Mr Hopkins said: “The development would fit well with the surrounding area and be of great community benefit.

“A village store is needed in Pidley, so that shoppers do not have to travel to Warboys or Somersham.”

His daughter, Sophie added: “People want to buy locally, and we want to offer them the chance.”

In Spaldwick, an application has been submitted by Darrell Haylett of Station Street, Chatteris to turn a beauty salon at 12 High Street into a village store. According to the planning documents the shop will sell newspapers and magazines, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat fish, dairy and local produce.

Planners are expected to make a decision on the application next month.