Feb 22 2017

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Yoga therapy room to go ahead

Posted at 4:44 pm under Uncategorized

Llyods Bank

Circled the former Llyods Bank building

Nothing can be more miserable for a village than to have an empty shop. The former home of Mr & Mrs Luing became a branch of Llyods Bank in the 70’s and was a busy establishment together with The Nat West  opposite. Wye college provided plenty of students all wishing to sign on at the banks as soon as they arrived in our village. Following the closure of the College our Llyods branch in Church Street eventually closed November 2010. The front doorway was decorated with black ribbons in ‘memory of’ by a saddened resident.

The village was delighted when artist Edwina Finn opened her beautiful art and gift shop  naming it Botanic. Number 24 Church Street was alive again! Unfortunately this lovely establishment closed last year and has stood empty.

The Parish Council Website reports the following:

Ashford Borough Council has approved a change of use application for the ground floor of the former Lloyds Bank at 24 Church Street, from A1 (retail use) to a yoga and therapy room.

The planning application did not propose any internal or external changes to the fabric of the Grade II listed building, or new signage, but the decision will result in the loss of retail premises in the centre of Wye. The case officer’s report concluded that “Whilst this proposal would result in the loss of an A class use, which Policy TRS16 seeks to resist, marketing evidence had been provided to demonstrate that the property is no longer viable for this purpose.”

“Further, the proposed development for a yoga/therapy use would bring a vacant unit back into a commercial use thereby supporting the local rural economy in accordance with national planning policy. I do not consider that the proposed development would cause demonstrable harm to highway safety or cause substantial harm to the listed building or character and appearance of the conservation area. I therefore consider that on balance the application should be approved.”

Wye Parish Council regretted the loss of a small shop, and drew the officer’s attention to the lack of off-road parking in the centre of Wye, but supported the application for the reasons above.

After Lloyds Bank closed its Wye branch in 2010 the 392 sq ft premises operated as a gift shop. The applicant, Alison Belsom, trading as Sunfish Yoga and Therapy Ltd from Mersham, has run popular weekly yoga classes in Wye for over ten years. http://www.sunfishyogaandtherapy.co.uk/

 We wish Alison every success. Its good to see Number 24 Church Street back in business!

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