Plans to demolish village centre buildings for playpark, entertainment space and coffee shop

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shappen stores burley
The butcher and post office would continue trading

PLANS for a new entertainment space, children’s playpark and coffee shop in the centre of Burley have been submitted to the national park authority.

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Applicant Nigel Blow wants to demolish several derelict buildings on land owned by Shappen Stores in Ringwood Road to make way for a new shop and ice cream parlour, with an outdoor seating area. The application also includes a new multi-purpose barn.

Documents submitted to the NPA state that the applicant, who has recently taken ownership of the 1.25-acre site which includes Shappen Stores, wants to re-establish it as the central focus of the village.

It has been owned by the same family for three generations and was described in planning documents as having “at best been kept in stasis and at worst has deteriorated over time through neglect”.

It stated: “Proposals are being considered, namely a coffee shop or tea room that is dedicated to the products of The New Forest Marque [and] a flexible function space that can accommodate charitable and commercial events for the owners of the building as well as for the villagers.

“The combination of the proposals are aimed at updating the offering from one of the oldest established businesses in the village to the ongoing tourism that is so critical to the economy of the national park.”

The store itself, which includes a butcher’s and post office, would continue to trade.

Changes to parking would mean an additional seven spaces would be created, taking the total to 17. If approved, the new business would create around nine full-time and five part-time jobs, the application said.

It added: “The proposal is a well-considered scheme that offers much to the immediate neighbours, the street and the wider village community.

“A dedicated children’s play area is absent at present in the village. The proposal to have one easily accessible to the community and visitors alike is very much needed and will be welcomed by all.”

The NPA is scheduled to make a decision after the deadline for public comments on 25th June.

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