Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Blaze couple to rebuild shop and add new flat

A COUPLE whose hardware store and home in Watlington were gutted in a fire have been granted planning permission to rebuild the property.

Derek and Glennys Starling, who ran D G Homecare in the High Street, can now repair the Grade II listed building which was badly damaged in April’s blaze.

They want to recreate the shop unit and create a one-bedroom, self-contained flat above it and rent both out while they continue to live next door.

A design and access statement by Andrew Townsend Architects, of Faringdon, says: “The general aim of the proposal is to re-establish the significance of the listed building by repairing and reinstating the shop unit while taking the opportunity to upgrade the accommodation above — currently linked by a doorway to Mr and Mrs Starling’s home — to become a self-contained apartment.

“The fire has led to the closure of Mr and Mrs Starling’s business. Approaching retirement, they now wish to let the shop unit and the apartment above as separate entities.”

The blaze on the evening of April 7 was caused by a fault in ceiling lighting. At its height, more than 50 firefighters were tackling the flames.

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