The George   George AI
From this.... to this?

What happens next to Winsham Shop & Post Office now depends on  planning approval by SSDC.

The George Update-decision time approaches-time for action! SCROLL DOWN FOR LATEST UP-DATE-13th JULY

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Read the letter that says it all!!

The letter sent to SSDC Planning by Winsham Shop and written by Paula Bramley Ball gets to the heart of the matter. Click HERE to read.

You can see what other residents have written by visiting the SSDC web site, Click Here to help you find these messages.

 

The opportunity to to let SSDC  know  your views on 'The George' project is an important part of the democratic planning process, and is still available-take the opportunity to let the planners and SSDC District Councillors know what you think-write now, by e-mail or letter. See contact details in the update below ....

 

And now read what Kate Fox, our Post Mistress has to say on the subject-adding light to another important aspect of what Winsham will lose if the Planning approval is not given:

 I am writing in reference to the Winsham village shop and Post Office planning application.

Dear Mr Hicks,

 Ref Numbers 18/00001/FUL,18/00002 LBC and 18/01705 ADV 

 I would like to voice my full support of the move and agree fully with all three applications. 

 As Sub Post mistress in the village I cannot stress enough the importance of securing the future of the Post Office.

It plays a vital role in the community and offers much more than just posting letters and parcels.

 Due to the logistics of the village and limited bus services, I have been able to negotiate with Post Office Ltd and secure what is known as "Community status" where most other post offices have gone "local". What this means is, I can offer banking services as offered by high street banks, including cash and cheque deposits as well as cash withdrawals. Bill payments i.e. Council Tax, Water, Electricity, telephone etc. Post office local do not process paper style banking. I for one feel that Winsham is privileged to have this status and we cannot afford to be without it.

 Nat west, Santander and Co-Op are closing their banks in the main towns and instructing customers to use their local post office. I have seen a significant increase in customers because of this, all of whom are extremely grateful that there is a Post Office in the village.

Thorncombe Post Office, 3 miles away closed and they receive an outreach service twice a week for a couple of hours. This service is very sporadic and more often than not they have to come to Winsham to complete their banking, posting and pension transactions. Drimpton, 4 miles away no longer has a shop or Post Office so they have to go to Broadwindsor who have an outreach service one day a week. 

Marshwood Post Office 6 miles away has recently closed and again customers are coming to Winsham. So I am actually providing a service to 4 other villages

 The Post Office also supports several local businesses with banking as there is nowhere for them to take cash income due to local banks closing.

 I personally provide a myriad of support and services above normal Post Office activities. i.e. being vigilant with vulnerable adults and being aware of personal needs. Customers often ask for my help if they are concerned or confused and know that they can speak to me in confidence for reassurance.

We are more than just a Post Office, we provide a support network for the local community.

 Post Office Ltd are in full support of the proposed move of shop and Post Office and have agreed a funding grant to secure a post office in the village for the future. The George is an ideal central location for the Post Office and will provide an easily accessible shopping experience for customers, which is an improvement on the current building where there are steps to get to the Post Office, proving difficult for many of our customers.

 Yours Sincerely,

 Kate Fox (Winsham Sub Post Mistress)

 

The George Update 13th July 2018 

Thank you Winsham

We wanted to share the great news that as of 9/7/18  that there have been a massive 168 letters posted on SSDC website and over 91% of these were overwhelmingly in favour of our shop and Post Office moving to The George and supporting change of use application.

Please be aware for those who have not yet written to SSDC that its not too late, as SSDC are still accepting contributions up to decision being made .PLEASE WRITE NOW as every voice counts.Please also be aware this is not a done deal and there is opposition from a small minority of people.

When you write -remember to quote reference numbers and your name and address to planning@southsomerset.gov.uk

Please be aware that we taking note of all letters of objection and are working hard to deal with any valid points that have been raised where we can. 

Date of Decision 

The original date for SSDC to make a recommendation regarding our planning application was the 19th July . However, due to issues of access to do a site visit this will be delayed ,which is why contributions are still being accepted by SSDC past the original deadline on 26th June .

The current tenants of The George are scheduled to move out at the end of July and the site visit will be planned in ASAP after this . SSDC will then confirm a revised date for a decision, likely to be Mid to End August 

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

Winsham Shop Management Committee 

The George Update 7th June 2018 

Thank you to all of you who demonstrated your support by attending Wednesday's Winsham Parish Council Meeting and writing letters/emails to the parish clerk. It was great to see a packed Jubilee Hall, full of so many supporters. 

We are pleased to share the great news that Winsham Parish Council unanimously backed our application. This is a great endorsement, but the Parish Council is not the decision maker, and we still need to influence South Somerset District Council. Every letter of individual support counts  

 If you have not already done so, please send letters of support to Mike Hicks, Planning Office, South Somerset District Council , Development Management Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil, Somerset BA20 2HT ASAP or email: planning@southsomerset.gov.uk

The letter of support needs to quote each of the three reference numbers which cover change of Use, Conservation and signage:

  • 18/00001/FUL
  • 18/00002/LBC 
  • 18/01705/ADV

It is key that you say why you believe it is important that this application is granted ,what it means to you and the village and particularly your thoughts on issues raised regarding highways (Road safety and parking) as these are areas that the few who are opposing the application are focused on.

Our view is that the highways issues are no worse than the existing situation. In addition, in our application we have argued that due to the fact that Back St has significantly less traffic than Church Street and because of the many deliveries we receive (a minimum of over 30 deliveries a week plus Post Office pick ups) then Back St in front of The George will create a safer drop off and a better road safety environment for all 

Road safety is key to all of us and we have addressed all issues raised regarding highways as part of our design & access statement which is now available on SSDC website as part of our application, together with our traffic survey of the area which provides evidence for our arguments. Please take a look at documents 8537337 & 8537340. Click HERE for our Guide to SSDC Planning WebPages for 'The George Project'.

Thank you to those of you who already got their letters into South Somerset District Council. It is very much appreciated and makes a difference

This this move is not a done deal, and without it there is serious risk that we will lose our shop & Post Office in Winsham as we have explored all other potential avenues . This outcome would be a major loss for us all, but particularly for those dependent on it and would have a devastating impact on our village life. 

It is your Shop & Post Office, owned and run by our community , please do what you can to support if you want it to have a future 

 Winsham Shop Management Committee   

The George Update 1st June 2018

We are delighted to share the good news that the validation of our application for Change of Use for The George, to become the new location for Winsham Shop & Post office, has finally been accepted on 24/5/18 by South Somerset District Council. This means they have all the information that they need to progress - it is not yet approval, but the start of an 8 week process to reach a decision.

We now need your help to show your support for this application to SSDC, as the more support is shown, the more likely it will be to succeed. Please do not assume it is a done deal.

 Firstly, Winsham Parish Council will be discussing this application at their monthly meeting, on Wednesday 6th June at 7pm in the Jubilee Hall. The Parish council have initially supported this move, but showing them your support will give them the confidence to potentially endorse the application on behalf of the whole village.

 Please show your support by attending this meeting, and if you are unable to attend you can email support ahead of the meeting to the Winsham Parish clerk :winshampc@hotmail.co.uk  

 Secondly, we need you to write letters of support to Mike Hicks, Planning Office, South Somerset District Council, Development Management Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil, Somerset BA20 2HT at as soon as you can, as consultation only lasts a couple of weeks. 

 The letter of support needs to quote each of the 3 reference numbers which cover change of Use, Conservation and signage:

  • 18/00001/FUL
  • 18/00002/LBC 
  • 18/01705/ADV

It is key that you  say why you believe it is important that this application is granted and what it means to you and the village. 

 Each letter of support, or otherwise, will be taken into account as part of review process together with the Planning Officer's report . 

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

 Winsham Shop Management Committee

6th April 2018

The George - Change of Use Application

We wanted to let you know that all is progressing with our change of use application to South Somerset District Council to enable The George to become the new location for Winsham Shop & Post Office, but unfortunately it  is much slower and more challenging than we would like or anticipated, despite a huge amount of work going on to push this forwards.

 This is particularly the case as it has come to light that we are actually involved in 3 individual applications which will cost over £600 in combined application fees to our District council which include : 

  • Change of Use 
  • Advertising (outside signage ) 
  • Conservation (as its a listed building )  

We submitted our initial application just after new year and since then we have been in correspondence with the council on further information they require before they will even consider making it a live project on their website. 

 As of today we have got two relatively minor outstanding issues, as we understand it, that we are seeking to address as soon as we are able with Rod Wells, who is acting on our behalf :

1.    Outstanding elevation drawings for new post office fortress walls 

2.    Advertising signage elevation drawings and application form 

Once the District Council (SSDC) are happy with the information provided, we are hopeful of the project going live on their website and being able to be submitted to planning committee . 

At this stage we are targeting the May, or failing that, the June planning committee( dependent on SSDC) which if successful would still mean an autumn move is possible . 

 Our community share issue to fund this project will remain open until we purchase The George and if anyone has any further questions or believes they can help in any way the please contact us on winshamshopkitchen@gmx.com

 In the meantime please keep in contact with all our shop & post office news via Facebook 'Winsham Village shop & Post Office' 

 Winsham Shop Management Committee  

 

8th February 2018

We are please to confirm that our change of use application for The George was submitted to South Somerset District Council (SSDC) on 2nd January 2018 thanks to help from Rod Wells, who is a qualified Chartered Surveyor and experienced in planning applications. Obtaining change of use for commercial use is a pre-requisite to our purchase of The George, which is currently a residential property.

As part of our case we have used data gathered from our traffic survey conducted on 1st December 2017 . A huge belated thank you to all of you who helped gather information, it has provided invaluable evidence. See photo of Chloe Besley and Di Wallbridge braving the cold. 

Since submission to SSDC we have been going through a process of validation with SSDC. We  have proposed that we will come back to them by 28th February with the further information that they are asking for. This is a very typical part of the planning process.

Once we have  SSDC 's validation, our application will be made public on their website and we will be in a position to go forward to a future planning committee meeting. Based on current timescales this is likely to be April /May at the earliest, dependent on SSDC. We will advise you when we know more and when it is appropriate for you to help us with your letters of support 

We are still optimistic of an Autumn move to The George, but obviously this is subject to change of use being granted.

Our current total for community shares applied for stands at £309,000 and our share offer remains open until our target of £350,000 is reached or until change of use is granted and we are about to purchase The George. Further share applications are very welcome

If anybody has any questions or wishes to know more about the application then please let us know on winshamshopkitchen@gmx.com

Winsham Shop Management Committee 

 

 

14th December 2017-The AGM

On Wednesday 13th December the shop held its Annual General Meeting for all shareholders to review the financial year ending 30th September 2017 and receive an update on The George project.

The good news is that we are in better shape than last year with a small loss this year, versus last year’s loss of over £3,000.This is because we have been able to make wage savings, due to closing shop 30 minutes earlier at 6pm Monday to Friday with no obvious impact on sales .

However, our overall message is the same as last year ,that we have to come up with a new financial model with new premises or there will be no shop in Winsham, as we cannot continue to make a loss

Fantastic News

We are pleased to announce that we are making great strides in our plan to buy The George as the new location for Winsham Shop & Post office with a new financial model and we can confirm our change of use application will be with the Council pre Christmas.

We have received over £308,000 worth of applications for Community shares versus our target of £350,000.

Our Community share issue will stay open for next month or two until we are in a position to buy The George with change of use approval or until we meet our target.

Our community share issue provide us with the most cost effective way of funding The George and for our investors the opportunity of potentially benefitting from 30% tax relief and earning 1.5% interest. There is a minimum £500 investment.

 If you would like to know more email winshamshopkitchen@gmx.com

Alternatively, if you want to show your support you can pick up a form in the shop to buy £10 membership shares which entitle you to have a say in how your shop is run. These shares are effectively a donation as do not earn interest and are not refundable.
 Congratulations

 A big thank you to Steve Brazier, from Church St. who kindly donated a 1950’s bottle of Madeira to the shop which we were able to raffle to raise funds.

We raised £135 and the winner was Steve Weller – Congratulations Steve & Cheers!

We would like to say a big thank you to all our customers, investors, staff and volunteers who make our community owned shop possible.

Happy Christmas to you all and looking forwards to a very exciting new year for Winsham Shop and for Winsham.

Winsham Shop Management Committee

 

 

 

For more general information you may find the links below helpful:
Plunkett logo
The Plunkett Foundation is supporting The George project by providing invaluable advice and support. Click on Logo.

Information from HMRC on Social Investment Tax Relief can be found by CLICKING HERE.







The historical background to two significant buildings
Interesting links to the history of Winsham Shop and the history of The George Inn.


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The George


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