Comments received

Comments received in response to the question: ‘What would a Village Shop mean to you?’

 

‘As shown at Bluebells, it would mean a meeting place/ heart of the village, a chance to meet neighbours and build a community.’

 

‘The village is getting bigger all the time and looks set to remain going that way for the foreseeable future. I think for the young families and the older generation, a shop would be very beneficial. But obviously with the new plans put in for more houses, which includes a village shop, a community shop would not be needed as well. The village would be unable to support two shops.’

 

‘As a household of 2 and no kids, both of us working full time, a shop would not mean that much.
Previous shop failed due to high prices, little/no choice and lack of custom, all of which interdependent.
I honestly feel the general populous of Potter do not have the need or inclination to support a village shop. The village is serviced by paper deliveries, milkman, 2 fish vans, which carry other products, Curtis van and Tesco bus and all supermarkets offer home delivery. The village does already have a local meat counter in the form of Ryelands Dexter beef on Barff Road.’

 

‘Having basic groceries available without having to travel by car and access to daily/ weekly newspapers. Thankyou.’

 

‘Very useful for topping up weekly shop and a Post Office would be very useful.’

 

‘We would definitely use a village shop on a regular basis. I usually use the Co-op and Spa after the school run, but would use the village shop instead for convenience.’

 

‘Drop off/collection point for internet deliveries/sales.
Small selection of good beer and wine (not spirits). Wouldn’t want to affect Pub business, but young families are only able to have a drink at home, so probably reasonable demand for this.’

 

‘Local community facility – currently the cafe provides a great social hub.’

 

‘Our household would use a shop if there was one in the village and look forward to it being opened!’

 

‘I would liked to buy locally sourced produce – meat, veg, fruit etc – perhaps the shop could act as an agent to supply these goods, to order, thus avoiding fresh produce to go out of date – weekly vegetables/fruit box/meat?’

 

‘To have a shop in the Village would be very useful, rather than having to drive to Heighington, Branston or Metheringham. It would be good for the Community.’

 

‘We visit the cafe every week and it would be lovely to have a shop combined.’

 

‘It would make my life a little easier.’

 

‘It would be really good to have a shop.’

 

‘An essential part of village life helping to bring the community together, would save a lot of time and effort , not having to drive to other villages, especially when I run out of chocolate.’

 

‘Having 3 young children makes shopping a headache. Since our baby was born, we haven’t figured out a method that works well.
A local shop would remove the stress and if it was reasonably priced would be a main source for us.’

 

‘My wife and I have serious reservations about a village shop having an off-licence section. This would encourage young people to congregate, with potential littering and pestering customers to buy their alcohol, if underage. We would strongly object to any application for such a licence.
In addition, the village shop would prove a boon for those many villagers who do not drive.’

 

‘Very pleased if we have a shop.’

 

‘Having a village shop would be more convenient as I would have to travel (by bus) to the nearest stores. It would also be a great asset to the community as the village is becoming larger as more and more houses are being built and it could bring back jobs for local people.’

 

‘Make life easy.’

 

‘Complete the Village – more convenient.

 

‘Ease of use, nice.’

 

‘Possibly flowers would be to buy.’

 

‘It would be much more convenient to shop within the village. Currently top up shop etc either in Branston or Metheringham.
Good for Community spirit.’

 

‘When we moved here 13 years ago, we looked only at property in villages offering a shop and pub (and Post Office). When we subsequently lost all of those facilities, we were prepared to move elsewhere. The return of a shop, Post Office would be of enormous benefit to the village, providing a valuable service, a community hub and increasing the desirability of Potterhanworth as a place to live.’

 

‘It would be very convenient to get basic items in the village rather than driving into Branston – milk, bread, vegetables, etc.’

 

‘Useful service and social.’

‘Local shop not needing to use car – meet more people from the area.’

 

‘Make a lot of difference.’

 

‘ It would be lovely to get ‘treats’ for the family at a village shop. An added benefit would be to pick up a loaf of bread or milk when we run out – instead of having to drive to Branston. Could local artists/ craft enthusiasts be given a display to sell their goods? Very handy for birthday gifts!’

 

‘Convenient and local. There for the Community and local area.

If gifts are to be sold, they should be handmade in the village or local area.’

 

‘ I would find it very useful as I get ‘on-line’ shopping now as have a toddler, it’s easier. We would walk to the shop when needed and on a weekend would be nice to get fresh food to cook.

Also it would get used more than Branston Co-op as I would rather put my money into my Village. Fantastic idea and all involved, well done !!!’

 

‘ It would be a great asset but would only work in conjunction with the coffee shop.’

 

‘ A Village shop would be great for villagers and raise the profile amongst other villages. I would not be likely ever to do a main shop there but would be tempted in for the newspapers/magazines, homemade produce, delicatessen, gifts and local produce. It would be nice to ‘bump into’ other shoppers. A delivery service would surely be important for those who are unable to get out and a village shop could give lonely people ( and there are some in Potter) a chance to have someone to talk to from time to time.’

 

‘Convenient and to save the expense travelling to town.

To reawaken the community spirit.’

 

‘Would have to support local produce.

Somewhere for children to buy their sweets from with their pocket money.

Essentials such as milk and bread would be very helpful.

Longer daytime hours on Mon – Fri would be good.’

 

‘Because I don’t drive, shopping is a problem - a shop of any type would make my life much easier.’

 

‘Well done for Bluebells. Shop with cafe, ideal in Barff Road.’

 

‘We need a shop.’

‘A shop/coffee shop would give it a focus to the village. The pub does not seem to perform a central hub to the community.’

 

‘Ability to walk to get weekend newspapers, use Post Office for paying in and cash out and stamps etc.’

 

‘A village shop would be useful – we would most likely use it as a means of top up between main shops. If the shop were to stock local produce such as fruit, veg, jams, bread, meat etc. Then we would be likely to purchase these in the village shop over a supermarket’

 

‘It would be nice for the children to be able to walk to the shop to buy a few sweets with their pocket money. Will also be good to call in if running low on essentials e.g. milk, butter, etc. Or to pick up a bottle of wine for dinner.’

 

‘It would be interesting to see how many times a month villagers ‘ Top up Shop ‘ at the Co-op, Branston and Washingborough and Spar at Heighington and how much is spent on petrol doing these top ups. If there was a village shop I would walk to the shop and possibly pop into the pub on the way home, instead of driving to a larger store and coming straight home. I would be giving profit to the village projects.’

 

‘When I first had my little girl, I really missed somewhere to walk to and see other people, being stuck in the village on maternity leave. I would have loved to have just been able to pop to the shop and get some fresh air.’

 

‘Many thanks’

 

‘We top up our groceries often and usually go to Branston, but if this shop was open, then I would support it. Local produce and homemade produce sounds great. Local collection of newspapers/magazines and a delivery service also sounds a good idea.’

 

‘So far your hard work seems a success. For us newspapers daily to collect would be great. Post Office. If people called in for newspapers they would see other things and buy.’

 

‘It would be great to be able to walk to the shop opposed to having to drive. To be able to treat my daughter to an icecream in the summer after school. It would be also great to have an off licence so that I could buy a bottle of wine at the weekend without having to use the car to fetch it.’

 

‘It would mean a lot to us to be able to get items that we forget from our main shop and to be able to get fresh produce and fresh milk rather than get it from the supermarket, also cards and stamps. Also to be welcomed and get to kmow new people from the village.’

 

‘Be very helpful, particularly if I ran out of things.’

 

‘We are particularly interested in supporting a shop/cafe as we live at Potterhanworth Booths and 3 miles from a shop for daily goods such as milk, bread etc. Also it would be a great asset for our caravan members who visit our site at anytime of the year and need daily provisions without having to travel into town. We are very busy during the summer months and a shop/cafe/post office would certainly be an asset.’

 

‘I could nip there for my small things I’ve forgotten from the main shop or for any treats we fancy at the weekend. Handmade or locally produced things make excellent gifts or ingredients for better quality meals.’

 

‘1. Fewer food miles.
2. Healthier eating – i.e. fewer chemicals in food.
3. Social contacts.
4. Opportunities to sell my produce (grown in the village)
5. Opportunities to sell my homemade jams, jellies etc.’

 

‘As someone who doesn’t always have access to transport, it would be fantastic to have amenities that I could walk to go for essentials, as well as somewhere to go with the children for a drink and something to eat.’

 

‘If people want a shop why did they move here in the first place, we have managed without one this long, don’t see the point now.’

 

‘A shop has to be a commercial enterprise not a loss leader/social service. There are already viable alternatives, e.g. home delivery, free buses. Subsidised or non-economic projects should be reserved for what the private sector can’t provide, i.e. local educational, social or recreational projects.
P.S. You already know you can’t have a Post Office, Branston PO is failing and looking to offload + Heighton PO? moving to Spar.’

 

‘We had 2 shops and a Post Office. No one used them so they closed. So what is the point in opening shop or Post Office. As for the coffee shop, why build a new one when there is a pavilion on the playing field and a car park and a play park for the kids?’

 

Questionnaire 1 – 7: We had a shop and Post Office in the village and it closed for lack of support. I cannot see the attitude in the village changing.’

 

‘Location wise – Barff Road is already busy with tractors/lorries and school traffic. It also has been/still is an issue with parking on the road causing inconvenience or the residents. Would it not be better suited in the Pavilion area? Also heard rumours of planning application for housing + shop on land on the west side of the village. Don’t think the village could service 2 shops – might be a better location!’

 

‘I do not think a village shop would be sustainable in a dormitory village such as Potterhanworth. It would have a very limited life span once the novelty has worn off and become commercially unviable. Money would be much better spent developing the facility already in place at the Queensway Pavilion Hall.’

 

‘I was very glad to hear you are not going to build down Barff Road anymore. Thank you. We were very worried about more flooding – our drive floods already with a down-pour and we thought your shop & car-park would exacerbate this problem. I have always thought the pavilion would be a good place, as the PC would have up-graded it – but I know you are not happy about that. What about the shop that that Battles are proposing to build on Station Road? Is is it worth having talks with them? A shop is a useful idea (+coffee shop) and you are all working very hard to make it work, I hope it does. Well done!’

 

‘I am not a shopper. I live on my own & only shop every 2 – 3 weeks. I am unlikely to run out of anything I use regularly to necessitate using a local shop. I do shop on line on occasions if I am incapacitated but prefer to choose my own items. What are the statistics of users? Is a shop viable? The possible Barff Road site is not viable for parking as the road is too narrow & has agricultural vehicles travelling it regularly. School parking already extends along the main road and Barff Road. Can we not use the pavilion as a community facility? The Memorial Hall can be used for some functions. The pub ‘function’ room is hardly used.’

 

‘Shop and café essential. One helps the other. Well done for doing something.’

 

‘A splendid idea, great advantage to residents & visitors & tourists. Environmentally friendly, come on foot. Great effort so far, Bluebells, community minded and much wanted.’

 

‘I am always running out of daily things, milk, sugar, bread and everyday food, having to drive to Branston or Bracebridge, is silly and costly. I would prefer to spend the money in my local community.’

 

‘It would mean a lot to us to be able to get items that we forget from our main shop and to be able to get fresh produce and fresh milk rather than get it from the supermarket, also cards and stamps. Also to be welcomed and get to know new people from the village.’

 

Letter 1

‘We have chosen not to answer your questions – all of which serve only to support your decision to open a shop on land off Barff Road. You give no opportunity to suggest alternative locations, nor to disagree with your decision.
Here are some of the reasons we are vehemently opposed to this plan:

  1. So far, we have managed to speak to 23 residents of Barff Road – 19 are strongly against your proposals, 3 ambivalent and only 1 is for it.
  2. Barff Road is a quiet, residential road in a conservation area – it does not lend itself to a commercial enterprise.
  3. The road is narrow, used by many farm vehicles and lorries each day. Parking is already an issue – with residents often struggling to get in and out of their own drives due to parking of parents dropping/collecting their children from school, builders’ vans, ramblers (often 12 or more cars) and people attending events at the Church/Memorial Hall. Additional vehicles will only make things more difficult.
  4. There is only one narrow path. Mothers collecting children from school and pre-school often have to walk on the road as the path is barely wide enough for one person. It does not lend itself to additional pedestrians walking to and from the café/shop.
  5. Inadequate street lighting
  6. Drainage issues – everyone who lives in Barff Road is aware that it doesn’t take much to cause a raging torrent of water to cascade down the road. This has resulted in flooding of several homes; some of which have had to resort to installing flood gates and other precautionary measures. We do not want this to be exacerbated by the construction of the proposed shop/café and associated car park/access road. Do your costs include for the provision of SUDS (sustainable urban drainage system)?

The above are just some of the reasons we oppose the plan. The impact on our (and our neighbours’) quality of life is immeasurable. We have lived in this village for 20 years – we moved here precisely because it was quiet and rural – we care passionately about this village. We love the community, and have enjoyed attending many events over the years. We were a community before the formation of the PCPG.

     It saddens us to hear the comments of the villagers, who are so incensed by the cavalier attitude of the PCPG. This project is divisive, causing upset and distress to many people. None of us would ever treat our neighbours and fellow villagers in this manner. Why no consultation? Why do we hear about your plans in the Sheepwash Times and via a glossy ‘newsletter’? You haven’t even the decency to name the site this time – merely hinting at a ‘Location near the centre of the village’.

     What consideration has been given to Battle’s proposals to build a shop within their proposed housing development? Are you really proposing that our village can support two shops?

     You will recall that back in November we wrote to the PCPG expressing our concerns – which were ignored. At that time, we urged you to consider using the existing pavilion; we were left in no doubt as to your views on ‘that end of the village’. It might be useful to remind the PCPG – many of whom did not live in Potterhanworth when the decision had to be made to either demolish or rebuild the old pavilion – of its history. This building came to fruition thanks to the efforts of villagers shortly after the Second World War. They gave their time and what little money they had to build somewhere for the village to get together – they were proud of their efforts, and so are we. To hear you dismiss it and its location goes against everything we believe in: democracy; society; community; charity; good neighbourliness and a pride in our history.

     It is, at best, arrogant of the PCPG to decide that the village does not want to use the pavilion – the village have not been asked.

     Both your questionnaires have been worded to achieve the answers you need. Most people who originally agreed they would like a shop had no idea what you were planning – if you asked people if they would like a petrol station, a hairdressers, a gym, chip shop, etc, chances are that they may reply ‘yes’. What is important is to point out the impact this will have on them and their community, and how the aim will be achieved … at what cost?

     If this project is successful we face the following:

  • A blot on the landscape – not only for ourselves, but for many of our neighbours
  • The ruination of our tranquil existence
  • A liability for the future – who will own this building? Who will maintain it? What happens if the project fails?
  • Extra traffic, noise, rubbish and potential vandalism
  • Security lighting and noise pollution
  • The worry of what comes next – housing? More commercial developments?

You must surely be aware that farmers are not in the habit of donating large pieces of land to the community – this project sets a planning precedent, and who knows what will follow.

     We seek the following from the PCPG, as a matter of urgency:

  1. A public meeting
  2. A detailed business plan, showing trading figures since Bluebells opened in October and the profit made, together with projections for the future and evidence to back these up.
  3. A breakdown of how many questionnaires were delivered when you first decided on this project; how many were returned and what percentage asked for a shop/café.
  4. Details of donations reeived and sustainability plan.

So far, you have relied on the goodwill of volunteers (whom we commend) – can you really depend on this going forward? Already we hear that many people are no longer willing to commit, and this is understandable – it is a considerable undertaking.

     In summary, if the village really do want a shop/coffee shop, then this has to be housed in existing facilities or sited on the proposed shop on the Battle’s development. A purpose built shop, in a conservation area on a quiet road is not an appropriate location. The residents do not want it. We do not feel it is commercially viable and, if you really are able to raise £150,000, then there are better ways that this could be spent to enhance the lives of Potterhanworth residents.

     We urge you to reconsider your decision and to at least try the pavilion – not only would this allay many of our worries, but we (and many others) would support you in making this the hub of our village.’

 

Letter 2

‘I am writing in response to the recent questionnaire that was circulated to villagers re the proposed building of a shop on land off Barff Road. I would like to inform you of my opposition to this proposal.

     I have a number of concerns:

  • Barff Road is a residential no through road which already has to contend with lorries and tractors using it, often having to mount verges to avoid parked cars.
  • Pedestrian access along Barff Road is narrow and in bad condition.
  • F.G. Battle are proposing building a shop on the new development they are planning to build. Why would we need 2 shops and how would both be sustained?
  • If the project fails once the building has been built what happens to it and who will it belong to?
  • [Names witheld] have in the past made no secret of wanting to eventually build on this land so will planning permission for the shop be setting a precedent for them?
  • Why have the PCPG not consulted with the homes that this will affect the most?
  • What happens if the current volunteers decide to no longer offer their services?
  • Why has the PCPG been so negative about trialling the coffee shop at the Pavilion. With the correct signage in the village it would be easily found and I am sure many of the young mums would use it, especially as in the good weather they can sit and watch their children play on the playground?
  • Why are the PCPG not even attempting to unite the village rather than alienate half of it. We are becoming a village of 2 halves.
  • If as a community group you are able to raise the funds necessary for a new build surely there are many other projects in the village that would benefit from such money;
  • Can you publish the results of your 2 questionnaires, how many responses did you receive etc?
  • How much has the café made since opening?
  • Can we see the 5 year business plan?
  • Where is the funding coming from?
  • Is there to be security lighting and if so how will this affect the people living near the build. It wasn’t long since a resident of Barff Road mounted a campaign to get rid of the new street lighting that had been installed.

I am very unhappy that as a community group there doesn’t appear to have been any community consultation, other than your questionnaires which have been worded to enable you to receive the response you require for applying for the funding you will need.

     I have lived here for over 30 years and during that time have witnessed many changes within the village. I have always tried to support many of the social activities that have taken place and friends that do not live in the village have always said what a lovely sociable village we are. Why is it then, that we are being told by the PCPG that there is no community and we need a shop – we had a shop/post office and this wasn’t supported so what is going to make this venture any different?

     I believe that with so many questions to be answered a Public Meeting should be organised to address the many issues that villagers have.’

 

Letter 3

‘We have no objections to the café The Bluebells at the church. Having a meeting place, where people can come together, and also supporting the use of the church has been a great idea, encouraging the village community to thrive.
     However the construction of a permanent building sited directly adjacent to various properties, without really taking into consideration the surrounding residents, is very single minded and divisive to the community of Potterhanworth.
     We love living in Potterhanworth as it has a great community spirit which encourages various charitable events throughout the year, which are supported and sensitively run by various volunteers, including ourselves. This new proposal is one that seems to consider proposers themselves.

 

Objections

  • Farmer – It has been suggested that the farmer [name witheld], is happy to donate the land for the proposed siting for the shop to be built. Which farmer gives away a free piece of land without there being another agenda attached to it ??????????
  • Traffic – The traffic is already a problem on Barff Road. It is a narrow lane where the parking at the side of the road results in farm traffic/lorries etc, and delivery vehicles already having to drive up on the curbs and grass verges to get past. This has caused the grass on the side of the roads to be constantly churned up also creating a possible danger to pedestrians. A shop situated off Barff Road would only add to the problem.
  • Rubbish – The bins for food waste etc, will encourage rats and vermin. Will there be regular clearing of any rubbish which goes astray in the surrounding area?
  • Security – No doubt there will be alarms and security lights fitted to th shop premises. Light pollution of the security lights will affect the residents close to the shop, which will be invasive. Who will be checking the alarms if they go off?
  • Water – At the moment if we get bad weather such as snow or rain (which is happening more and more) and we are constantly getting a run off of water from the pathways and tracks onto Barff Road, which causes the drains to flood, causing many low lying properties to be at considerable risk of flooding.
  • Children hanging out – We all know youths congregate in public places, and this is just another area for youths to gather in groups at night, possibly resulting in antisocial behaviour and noise to those who live nearby.
  • Pavilion – A pavilion has been built in the village on a playing field with a children’s park. This pavilion gets very little use. The Beer Festival Committee uses it once a year for their event which is a charitable organisation, very well supported and is in aid of village amenities. I think a shop/café, if well organised would do very well alongside the pavilion, encouraging families to use the shop/café as well as the park getting more use. Money could be put in to the tennis courts and create a proper tennis club. There will be various volunteers to help with this. I’m sure there would be a lot of support from the community to involve themselves in a project involving a shop/café, community centre, football and a tennis club.
  • Other building in Potterhanworth – Apparently there is going to be an application from Mr Battle for the erection of 18 houses to be built off Station Road Potterhanworth. Included in this proposal is the building of a convenience shop. Why would we need 2 shops within our village?

We chose to move to Potterhanworth over 20 years ago, as it is a rural area and was the ideal place to bring our children up enabling us to enjoy a quiet country life that we wished for our family.

     The community spirit has been brilliant so far and everybody supports the local activities as mentioned.

     Usually people come together in this village as a team, to make things work and create this special community. However the suggestion of this village shop and its proposed site is making a lot of people very upset and angry, and the few who are suggesting this proposal do not seem to be listening to the many concerns of their neighbours.

We feel we need a public meeting about this new proposal.’

 

 

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