Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Shut shop could be turned into home

A FORMER convenience store in Wargrave that has been closed for more than two years could be turned into a house.

Victoria News in Victoria Road shut in August 2019 after the owners Chris and Fiona Keast failed to sell it.

In addition to the shop, which also housed a post office counter for 18 years, the building had a two-bedroom flat upstairs.

The new owner, who is represented by JSA Architects of Maidenhead, is seeking permission from Wokingham Borough Council to fully convert the property for residential use with four bedrooms.

They also want to build a double-storey side extension and two bay windows at the front.

A planning statement by JSA Architects said the proposal gets rid of an “eyesore” in the village and the redevelopment would complement neighbouring properties.

They said: “The existing building accommodation comprises the ground floor retail space, accessed from the site forecourt, kitchen and rear access via staircase to the rear lower site level, and a first-floor dwelling with bathroom, kitchen and two bedrooms.

“It was for many years a florist, newsagent, tobacconist, confectioner and, most recently, a post office and two-bedroom flat. The post office closed in August 2019 and has remained so to this date. Commercial use of the building attracted no market interest, having been marketed since July 2018.

“In general, the proposed design intervention is minimal. We have adhered to the advice offered in the pre-application document in that one house only is proposed, the rear amenity has been maintained and roof height has not increased. The proposal offers conversion of a now redundant eyesore into a family home reflecting the character of the village.”

Wargrave Parish Council will make a recommendation at its meeting on Monday. A final decision will be made by the borough council.

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