Northumberland Estates gets the green light to convert former Spar shop into café

Plans to convert a former Spar shop into a café in a Northumberland village have been approved.

Thursday, 4th June 2020, 6:00 am

Northumberland Estates, which represents the business interests of the Duke of Northumberland, is behind the Longhoughton scheme.

Colin Barnes, head of planning and development at Northumberland Estates, said: “Northumberland Estates purchased the building over a year ago following discussions with Longhoughton Parish Council as the community had expressed a wish that the building should be kept as a local business.

“As the village no longer has a pub or restaurant a cafe seemed ideal. Since that time we have prepared new plans and are working with a well renowned local company to take over the premises which will cater for both the local and visitor market plus create some local jobs. Good news all round.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The former Spar in Longhoughton. Picture: Google

The store closed in 2016, although a small part remained in use as a hairdressers, before it was purchased by Northumberland Estates last year.

The café would accommodate in the region of 40 covers, with the proposed opening hours being 8.30am to 5pm, seven days a week, with baking starting in the kitchen from 6am.

The development would create five full-time and five part-time staff.

It is proposed to create six new window openings and one patio-door opening to walls forming the main seating area.

Internal alterations will be made to form the toilets and commercial kitchen.

There were no objections, although concerns were raised about car parking, neighbouring amenity and competition with existing businesses.

Planning officer Jon Sharp said: “It is considered that the proposal represents an appropriate form of development that would not have a significant adverse impact on the street scene or the amenity of nearby residents.”

In 2018, the sale of the building by auction was postponed for six months when Longhoughton Parish Council applied successfully to get the site registered as an Asset of Community Value.

This gave the council a period to see if it could raise the funding to bid for the site or to agree to purchase it at an agreed price from the owners, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO). However, it did not agree to a separate sale and it was auctioned in May last year.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you