Plans for Much Marcle shop, post office and café

Plans have been revealed for a village shop with post office and café.

The venture proposed for Much Marcle, Herefordshire, would "focus as much as possible on locally grown and produced food", an application said.

A survey found widespread support for the location in a field by the A449/B4215 Dymock Road crossroads, according to backers.

Much Marcle Community Shop Ltd, a registered community benefit society, has applied for planning permission.

The application was submitted by the society's Prof Peter Lutzeier who said that since the closure of a village shop before the Covid pandemic "we have been working to develop a solution" that provides "improved and sustainable services" for the village and wider rural areas.

A project was first backed by the parish council four years ago. There has since been consultation with the county council and local community.

Herefordshire Council initially found the proposal "generally acceptable" but pointed out it would be in the village's conservation area next to the Grade II listed Greenway Cottage, requiring a heritage impact assessment as a result.

The proposed timber-clad building would have several sustainability features, including roof-mounted solar panels, and the café would be available for meetings and groups.

Funds for the project were raised by a shares scheme, with each share costing £10 and more than 200 shareholders signing up.

While the earmarked spot had not been affected by recent floods in the village, the new building would still be raised 30cm (11.8ins) above ground, given the "increasing risks" from water, the application said.

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