Sedgemoor District Council has this week formally approved plans for a new permanent community shop to be built in the centre of Brent Knoll, enabling the volunteers to move from their temporary Portakabin.
Approval was granted by the district council’s planning department on Thursday (November 17th), delighting the community group that runs the facilities.
The plans from Brent Knoll Parish Council include the demolition of an existing public toilets block adjacent to Brent Knoll Parish Hall in Brent Street to make way for a new community shop with new public toilets, and the removal of the Portakabin which houses the temporary shop.
“The new community shop – which will replace a temporary Portakabin in the adjoining village green car park – will be used for the display and retail of general groceries, newspapers, fresh meat and vegetables, and alcohol,” says a Parish Council spokesman.
“The new building will also accommodate two unisex accessible WCs to replace the public toilets and a store.”
It initially traded from the former post office but had to relocate into a Portakabin following the sale of the property.
Planning permission was granted for the Portakabin in December 2021 for a temporary period of three years until 31st January 2024.
The shop is currently run by around 27 part-time volunteers. The shop is managed by a community benefit society with 140 shareholding members and a committee of eight elected members.
The parish council adds: “It is well supported by residents and any profits made by the shop are used for the benefit of the local community.”
“The construction of a new permanent shop in the centre of the village makes it easily
accessible by walking and cycling. A limited bus service links Brent Knoll to Burnham-On-Sea, Cheddar and surrounding villages.”
“The shop is a community run ‘not for profit’ enterprise providing essential supplies for the residents of the village. The proposal therefore meets the requirements of Policies S2 and D35 of the Local Plan.”