23a Churchway

Local Concerns over 'Beehive' development

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The listed building in the conservation area in Churchway that formerly housed the 'Beehive' delicatessen and, more recently, Unwins and Threshers off licences, has been undergoing renovations for the last few months.

Some residents in the area have voiced concerns that this has been a factor in the loss of the Royal Mail postbox that, for many years, has been located in the wall of the building in question, 23a Churchway. As we reported some weeks ago, the collection facility was closed without warning, when a metal plate suddenly appeared across the posting aperture without any advanced warning to residents.

More recently, planning permission has been sought for a brick wall and bow-top metal fence to be erected at the front boundary of the former shop, matching that of Old Barn Cottage next door. Once in place, the post box will be inaccessible to the public.

Interestingly, a channel has been cut in the ground to accommodate the foundations for the new boundary wall even before planning permission has been obtained. Local residents have expressed concerns that the developers appear to be ignoring planning control processes.

Even more significant concerns have been voiced over the choice of materials that are being used to refurbish and develop the building — materials that, allegedly, are particularly unsuitable for a listed building and have the potential to cause long-term damage to the adjoining cottage.

Formal objections are likely to be lodged with the Planning Control Department of AVDC in the near future. Interested residents will be able to view details here.

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