The much anticipated re-opening of a butchers in Market Hill, Buckingham, is being delayed due to refurbishment plans stalling with the planning authority.
Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) received the final planning application regarding the grade 2 listed building on 16 October and as of the time of writing, almost 15 weeks later, they have not been approved.
Government guidelines state that planning applications should be processed within 8 weeks, with major developments allowed up to 13 weeks.
Margaret Behan of Newbottle Investments Ltd, who bought the site in March 2018 with a view to re-opening the shop as a traditional family butcher, said:
“AVDC's delay in issuing written consent is causing everyone considerable pain and stress. We are looking to support Buckingham’s high street, create at least ten new jobs and offer people a wide range of locally sourced and produced food. It means that our producers, growers, farmers and future staff are also being affected by us not being in a position to announce a firm opening date.”
Buckingham has been without its a butchers for just over a year since the previous owners, Clays of Buckingham, closed down on 22 January, 2018. They had reportedly been trading for over a century.
A local butchers is clearly missed. While writing this article a member of the public from Buckingham telephoned this paper to express their frustration, saying: “Everyone that you speak to in Buckingham wants it open as a butchers.”
Chris Rogers of Brink Architects, who is communicating on behalf of Newbottle Investments Ltd, submitted a formal complaint to AVDC on 17 January.
He said to this paper: “We are in continuous communication with AVDC in an attempt to resolve this matter. We have completed extensive pre application consultations with the economic development team, heritage officer, planners and local stakeholders to bring about a proposal that both preserves the historic asset whilst delivering a scheme to best serve the local community. Unfortunately the delay in delivering this application is now having a very real impact on local employment and high street business.”
Hannah Peacock, Built Environment Team Manager at AVDC provided the following statement:
“Aylesbury Vale District Council is committed to ensuring the protection of listed and historic buildings in Aylesbury Vale. The planning application has been reviewed by an officer and passed through to a delegated authority to ensure the necessary checks and precautions are being taken before a final decision is made. Communication has continued between our officers and the applicant throughout the process, and a final decision is expected shortly.”
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