Newnham residents fail to block unpopular store conversion plans

Newnham Stores on The Green
Newnham Stores on The Green

The attempts of residents of a rural village in Daventry district to block plans to turn their closed village shop into a four bedroom house have failed.

The inhabitants of Newnham had started a petition protesting the conversion, and had promised to hand in the signed document at a planning meeting last week.

An application was filed to Daventry District Council by the owner of Newnham Stores requesting a change of use following the closure.

The planning committee met to discuss the application on May 18 where it received full approval.

Some Newnham residents fear that once the conversion has taken place the house will be sold, as its value would likely go up having been turned into a residential property in a scenic Northamptonshire village.

One person, who has lived in the village their whole life, commented on the Countryside Alliance site: “The shop and pub are one of the main reasons why Newnham is so attractive as a village.

“Whilst the pub has recently been re-energised to play a central role in the community, the shop remains closed and is now subject to today’s application.”

They added: “The older people get the less mobile they become, and having spoken to the elderly within the village we know they are concerned about this. Also, winter access in and out of the village is limited, making the shop a much-needed facility for people living there.

“We strongly feel that a well-stocked village shop would not only serve Newnham, but also Everdon, Badby, Preston Capes and everywhere in between.”

A plan of action had been put forward by residents which included running the shop as a non-profit venture, offering fresh bread three times a week, fresh milk, local delivery of produce, a paper round traditional sweet shop and local meat and veg.

They believed this would support and promote local farmers, businesses and tradesmen, making the shop central to the community, both physically and online.