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Winsham Village Shop & Post Office
Owned by the Community Serving the Community
Tel:01460 30225
Updates from Winsham Shop Management Committee relating to 'The George' project will in future be posted here. Full details of the Planning Application, and associated correspondence, can be found on the SSDC web site.

The George, Planning Appeal Update 15/7/19 

 We have now received copies of all new letters sent into the independent Planning Inspectorate regarding our appeal. No further comment will be accepted by the Inspectorate, other than our final statement due by 25 July.

 The good news is that, in addition to our Parish Council, our Ward Councillor, Sue Osborne has written a strong letter of support to reflect the views of the majority of our community (88% support based on letters to SSDC cited in Planning officer's report).  A copy of Sue's letter is attached for your information. 

 In addition, we can report that no new households have added their voice to the objectors. Specifically, only 6 households who live in the Parish and one privately owned Commercial business sent further objection letters to the Inspectorate in which they reiterated their concerns (in addition to those they had previously sent to SSDC).

 Several of these objection letters inform the Inspectorate that there are preferable alternative options for the relocation of the shop and Post office than The George (the same objectors who made this statement at the Area West Planning Meeting on 20th February 2019).  As you will be aware, over the last two years we have encouraged anyone who wishes to present an alternative viable solution to come forward to our community shop's committee -none has been forthcoming. 

Once we have submitted our final statement to the Inspectorate we will seek clarity on when we can expect a decision. 

 Any questions please let us know winshamshopkitchen@gmx.com 

 Many Thanks for your continued support 

 Winsham Shop Management Committee  

To read what Sue Osborne said in her letter  , CLICK HERE

Update on the appeal for change of use for The George 12/7/19

Please note that the deadline has now passed (11th July) for all additional comments for this appeal to be in with the independent Planning Inspectorate. No more comment will be accepted from any 3rd party.

The next step is within our gift, as the applicant, to review any new information presented to the Inspectorate which they will make available to us, and provide our final response to the Planning Inspectorate by 25th July 2019. By this date the Inspector will have all the material they need to review and organise a site visit. Once this site visit has taken place, a decision will be made by this Inspector. Hopefully by end August /Sept 19 

For your information, please see below the strong letter of support sent to the Inspectorate by our newly elected Parish Council which addresses their support and ownership of the installation of an appropriate barrier between The George and the market cross .This road safety issue was the principle focus of a small number of objectors at the Planning Committee meeting on 20th February and played a key part in our application being rejected on highways issues. We are hopeful that through this action by our Parish Council these concerns have now been addressed . 

Please be aware SSDC have already been granted conservation approval as The George is a Grade II listed building . 

This letter can be read in larger size via .pdf format, by clicking HERE

In the meantime we hope to soon be able to share news on the outcome of our negotiations with our existing landlord as the end of current lease date approaches .Our key focus is to ensure Winsham Community Shop and Post Office - owned and run by the community as a Community Benefits Society can continue into 18th year of serving our community.

Please remember anyone can become a share holder and have a say in how the shop is run by attending our Annual General Meeting held in December each year .If you want to know more just let us know 

If anyone has any further questions please let us know on winshamshopkitchen@gmx.com

Winsham Shop Management Committee 

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George Appeal Update 14/6/19

We are pleased to confirm we have received official validation and the timescale of our appeal from the Planning Inspectorate, that hopefully means a decision will be made by September/October this year.

Please note the decision on our appeal is made by the independent Planning Inspectorate, not SSDC:  

Key date :25 July 2019 

This is the deadline by which all information from South Somerset District Council and ourselves should be with the Planning Inspector for review. Post this date, a site visit will take place and a decision will be made based on written submission from both parties.

In line with the above process SSDC have sent letters to all of you ,who wrote letters to them, to advise of appeal and ask if any further contributions are to be made , that they should go direct to Planning Inspectorate by 11 July I

The Planning Inspectorate have received copies of all your supportive letters and those against, regarding our application previously sent to SSDC .It is therefore not necessary to write again, unless you have something new to say.

Our Parish Council have agreed to write a letter of support and state their intention to apply for necessary highways licence and put effective barrier in place between The George and The cross to improve road safety which will add weight to our appeal.

Existing premises: Negotiations are ongoing with our current landlord to stay in our existing premises until we are in a position to move and we are hopeful that this will be resolved shortly. 

Any questions please let us know 

 

Winsham Shop Management Committee 

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Winsham Shop & Post Office /The George Update 24/5/19  

 1. THE APPEAL FOR CHANGE OF USE FOR THE GEORGE  

The George is still our preferred location for the future location of Winsham Shop & Post office. There have been no other worked solutions proposed to secure the future of this valuable village asset.

As of today The George still remains available for sale and is currently occupied by the owner

We are delighted to confirm that, thanks to the considerable time and expertise of a very much appreciated member of Winsham Shop Management Committee, we have finally completed the appeal and produced what we believe is a compelling case which has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate . 

Our application now needs to be validated by the Planning Inspectorate and once we have this validation we will have a better indication on timelines(up to 6 months). In the meantime if you want to understand more about the process it is available via the following website: planninginspectorate.gov.uk

Please be aware that this will be a paper review via our written representation by an independent expert, not South Somerset District Council

2. EXISTING SHOP & POST OFFICE PREMISES 

Discussions are ongoing with our current landlord, who is aware of our intentions regarding The George appeal and our desire to enable us to stay in our current location until we are in a position to move. There are significant challenges regarding this, as our lease is due for renewal this September.

As we have previously stated that the building is not ideal, and the noise created by the shop is a serious issue for our landlord. We are confident we have a proposal to put in place a solution to suit both parties that will allow us to stay and will update you on this once we have discussed this with our landlord and agreed way forwards.    

3. BARRIER/PLANTER FOR THE AREA BETWEEN THE CROSS & THE GEORGE

 Draft minutes from Winsham Parish Council Meeting 8th May 2019 following proposal made by Winsham Shop Committee below where Parish Council have taken ownership of ensuring appropriate barrier in place: 

Proposal: Following receipt of a request from The Shop Committee, the Members to:

a) Consider pursuing the licence application with County Highways, in line with their procedure, in liaison with owner of The George and County Highways to ensure an adequate barrier is in place.

b) Consider paying the initial £165 application fee.

c) Consider agreeing in principle to a planter barrier solution, subject to discussion with County Highways, and obtain costings for creation and installation.

d) Discuss the project costs (as detailed in Shop Committee’s email).

Resolved: The Members:

a) Agreed to pursuing the licence application with County Highways, in line with their procedure, in liaison with the owner of The George and County Highways to ensure an adequate barrier is in place. Cllrs S Davie & J Everard will take this forward. Proposed: Cllr J Hill Seconded: Cllr H Beentje 8-0-0

b) Approved paying the initial £165 application fee. Proposed: Cllr K Fowler Seconded: Cllr J Everard 8-0-0

c) Agreed to defer this item to a future meeting.

d) Agreed to defer this item to a future meeting.

Any questions please let us know via email winshamshopkitchen@gmx.com 

Winsham Shop Management Committee 

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Winsham Shop & Post Office - The George Update 1st March 2019

It is now a week on from the Planning Committee result and the work has begun in earnest to deal with the aftermath. There is much to do and we will be on the agenda at the Winsham Parish Council meeting to be held next Wednesday 6th March in the Jubilee Hall.

Here is a summary of where we are as of today:
Number One Priority - Existing Premises
In order to enable us to continue trading in our existing premises, we need to ensure that we have a new lease in place with our current landlord, effective as from 1 September 2019.  Negotiations are under way to enable this to happen.
We will update you as soon as we have an answer on this.

Potential Appeal - The George.  ‘Change of Use’ decision
We believe that the decision at the Planning Committee should have been 'approval by the planning committee conditional on installing appropriate safety barriers being licensed and approved by County Highways to meet their requirements'.

We still believe that The George is currently the best available and funded option on the table. We believe that there may be grounds for appeal and when we have decided the way forward, we will report back to our investors and shareholders. Our problem is that the appeal process is anticipated to be lengthy, possibly 6 –12 months.
In the meantime we have taken appropriate action to express to our Council officers
our serious concerns with the Planning Committee meeting process and outcome.

Understandably, the owner of The George has now decided to put it on the market and if - and when - he secures a buyer, this option will be lost for our village due to the Planning Committee's decision on 20th February.


Other options for consideration
Other options will be reviewed and any ideas are welcome - we have already received several and will be sharing what we can at next week's Parish Council Meeting.

Exceptions: As we have already reviewed and rejected the Winsham Playing fields/Sports & Social Club/Band Hut, based on a number of key criteria such as accessibility (highways issues), location and - very importantly - the ability to fund, we do not plan to revisit these options.  Nor do we sense any great groundswell of support for these locations.
It is not that these options could not be made possible - most things are possible - but as stated to the Planning Committee, Winsham Shop Committee does not  believe that these proposals will satisfy the needs of the village. Quite apart from this, no new option can be undertaken lightly.  Even to get to the point of deciding to present just one of them to our shareholders would require a huge amount of work over a considerable period of time, including preparing a viable business case and funding model, not to mention raising the necessary funds. Highways and Planning issues are, as we well know, a major factor in any such project.  It should be noted that it has taken over two years of intensive work to get to this point with The George project - an available and existing building requiring minimal change. 

As you are aware, there is nothing to prevent others taking on this mantle and we will provide them with any relevant information. 

Our next step will be to present our proposed way forward to shareholders and The George investors at a Winsham Shop Limited Extraordinary meeting, date to be advised.

Remember anyone can become a shareholder for £10.

 If anyone has any questions or comments please contact us on winshamshopkitchen@gmx.com

Thank you

Winsham Shop Management Committee

 

Previously....

The George Update  – 23rd February 2019

Result of Area West Planning Meeting  20th

 February 2019

Thank you to all you fantastic people who turned out on Wednesday to show your support at the Area Planning Meeting and have also shown your support by writing to SSDC. 

It was a truly amazing turnout with a head count of over 140 supporters (in addition to all those supporters who were unable to attend for various reasons). We should all be incredibly proud of our community, and we, as the Shop Management Committee, really appreciated your support.   

As we all know, despite 88 % of 191 Winsham households demonstrating their support to SSDC in writing, it did not go our way and we have not been granted change of use for The George . 

We will now reflect, then move on to fight another day.  We will let you know our thoughts on how we go forward very soon and what our options are, as our current lease is due for renewal this September.  

The small group who spoke against The George proposal informed the Planning Committee that there were better options for the location of our Community Shop & Post Office.  Specifically John Chance suggested our Shop & Post Office could be located on Winsham's playing field (Upper Recreation Ground). 

We will work with John Chance to provide a platform so he can share his vision, including his trading model and business case, including who, along with him, will be responsible for building and delivering a secure premises for the Shop & Post office to move into, a timeline and how this is going to be funded. 

 

Previously... 

 

THE GEORGE UPDATE -16th February -

WE NEED YOU TO ACT THIS COMING WEEK

 

 It's your Community Shop & Post Office & your chance to show your support - do not assume it is a done deal.

The majority of our community have demonstrated their support to relocate the village shop and Post Office to The George

It is now key decision time and you can make a difference by attending the  Area West Planning Committee Meeting, Wednesday 20th February at the Guild Hall in Chard 

We have worked hard over the last two years to provide a solution for the long term security of our village shop & Post Office, with everyone being given ample opportunity to share their solution to the problem presented 

This is the only CENTRALLY LOCATED, AVAILABLE, VIABLE & VERY IMPORTANTLY- FUNDED OPTION on the table, without it there is a real risk our community shop & Post Office will not survive, with an imminent  risk that our current lease will not be renewed in September 19   

As anticipated the Planning Officer has recommended refusal based on highways issues .However, it is down to the Planning Committee to make the final decision and understand inpact of such a decision on our village.

We cannot stress enough, how important it is that we show the councillors how much support there is in the village for this, by turning out for the meeting .Please do what you can to be there and encourage others to do so  

Please be aware that the Planning Committee report is now available to view on line - see attached link - look in Area West committee meeting agenda - item 15 

http://modgov.southsomerset.gov.uk/ieDocHome.aspx?Categories

Thank you to the many of you have already let us know that you are attending .For all those attending the meeting please pick up your rosettes in the shop from Monday and wear at the meeting to show you are a supporter.  

PLEASE NOTE THE MEETING STARTS AT 5.30PM for councillors .However, we have been advised planning items will start no earlier than 6.30pm.

Our suggestion is that you aim to arrive 6-6.15pm.  

Any questions please let us know

Winsham Shop Management Committee  



PREVIOUSLY......


95 people attended the parish council meeting on Wednesday,9th January, when the Parish Council unanimously supported the revised planning application 
Picture by Stuart Davie ( Vice Chairman-Winsham Parish Council)

Update: The George 1/2/19 

We are eagerly awaiting the Planning recommendation report from Mike Hicks, the Planning Officer regarding our change of use application for The George, which we believe will be delivered by the 8th February. We expect that this decision will be referred to the Area West Planning Committee meeting due to take place on Wednesday 20th February at the Guildhall in Chard . We know based on your letters of support that the vast majority of this community supports  this application.

Please be aware that our community shop only continues to survive due to the enormous efforts of our many volunteers who choose to give their time for free to support the whole community and our shareholders who shape its future. We are not just a place to buy stuff and a Post Office, but a key social hub, communication centre and support particularly for those without transport, isolated and infirm in our community. 

We are happy to do this as we believe our shop is fundamental to our village life. We have worked hard to deliver what we believe is the best available, centrally located ,funded and viable option to secure its future, as well as give us the added benefit of a community cafe and public toilet facilities during shop opening hours . 

We ask that if you value your shop and appreciate this that you show your support by: 

1. Displaying a poster in your house and/or car window 'Proud to support our community shop' posters available in the shop. 

2. Attend the planning committee meeting on 20th February to demonstrate  to the councillors who sit on this committee that this is what you want. A huge presence of people in support makes a real difference .

 If you plan to attend then please let us know via email: Winshamshopkitchen@gmx.com or alternatively sign up in the shop and if anyone requires transport to attend then this can be arranged

Many Thanks 

 

Winsham Shop Management Committee   

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Winsham Shop and Post Office plays a role in our community that is more important than just being  somewhere to buy a postage stamp or a packet of cornflakes. It is part of Winsham's way of life for all age and social  groups, as demonstrated by the financial support the new project has attracted.
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Normal Shop Opening Hours*:
Monday-Friday 7.00am-6.00pm
Saturday 8.00am-1.00pm
Sunday 9.00am-Noon
    *
See below for any changes
All Royal Mail Services-Banking & Cash Withdrawals-
Phone top-ups-Bill Payments-Gift Cards
Euros on demand-other currencies next day

Post Office  Opening Hours:

Monday 9.00am-2.00pm
Tuesday 9.00am-2.00pm
Wednesday 9.00am-1.30pm
Thursday 9.00am-1.30pm
Friday 9.00am-1.30pm
Sat/Sun Closed
  
                  

...and enjoy a wide range of food, wines, spirits and beers, fresh vegetables and household goods at prices you can afford.

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THE FUTURE OF

WINSHAM SHOP & POST OFFICE

As most will know the future of Winsham Shop and Post Office is open for debate. To follow the latest information CLICK HERE

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Winsham Shop and Post Office has an unbroken history of 150 years of service to the people of Winsham. Over this period it has had many different proprietors, but now it is run by the village, for the village. Good value, a wide range of merchandise, local produce and friendly service meets the needs of local residents, whether they are doing their weekly shop or just popping in for a convenience or an ‘emergency’ item.

Many prices match those of the big Supermarkets. Open seven days a week, a tightly managed grocery and convenience store is a major asset to the community.

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