Parish Council to discuss shop’s future

SPAR shop Nunney
The SPAR shop in Nunney is currently for sale.

Nunney Parish Council will discuss a application for change of use of the SPAR village shop in the Market Place from shop to residential.

SPAR shop Nunney
The SPAR shop in Nunney is closing on 31 August.

Shopkeepers David and Sarah Bird are scheduled to close their shop S Bird & Sons on 31 August. The village shop has been for sale as a going concern with shopkeeper accommodation since 2015, without finding a buyer.

S Bird & SonsThe Bird family have been running a shop in Nunney since 1923. The original shop building is now Moat & Turret ‘Cafe by the Castle’ on the corner of Castle Street and Castle Green.

The Birds have filed an application for change of use from retail to residential use as three separate houses.

Full details are available on the Mendip Planning website (reference 2019/1317/FUL).

Nunney Parish Council will discuss the application for change of use on Monday 1 July in its meeting at Dallimore Mead Community Centre, which starts at 7.30pm.

Members of the public are welcome to attend, but can’t take part in the discussion unless invited to do so by the Chairman of the Parish Council.

Nunney Parish Council is not a planning authority. Mendip District Council is, however, and routinely seeks the Parish Council’s non-binding advice on planning issues affecting the village.

Having a shop able to meet a range of daily needs in the village is one of the key requirements for Nunney to maintain its so-called primary village status, alongside a primary school, a community venue (either a pub or a village hall) and a ‘journey to work’ bus service.

In primary villages new residents can meet many of their daily household needs locally and have a realistic transport alternative to the private car in order to access other services and employment.

Nunney village shop
The proposed change of use would turn the shop into two separate houses.
The primary village status means that Nunney qualifies for new housing development, currently earmarked at 54 new houses including so-called ‘affordable’ units.

Without a village shop Nunney would become a secondary village with some, but not all, of the basic facilities available in the primary villages provided our village still has a commuter bus service.

Secondary villages are earmarked for smaller housing developments, which in turn means fewer new ‘affordable’ housing units (since these are calculated as a percentage of the total new housing being built).

Nunney Parish Council has previously made efforts to get the village shop earmarked as a ‘community asset’, which would give the Parish Council time to find a solution for the property’s continued use as a shop.

The Euro Garage petrol station and its SPAR franchise at Nunney Catch are formally within the boundaries of Trudoxhill, not Nunney, and therefore doesn’t make a difference to Nunney’s status as a primary village.