Councillors Reject Another Plan To Convert Shop Space

man of war shopA plan to convert another Hugh Town shop to residential accommodation has been refused by planners.

The owners of Man of War on Lower Strand want to replace the current ground floor retail space with a one-bedroomed flat for use by key workers or those with local need.

The shop has been selling gifts and shipwreck artefacts since 1982, but the owners say the 25% drop in tourist numbers and the proliferation of more retail units on St Mary’s means it’s no longer viable.

They say the Council erected new shops at Porthcressa, permission was granted to extend craft workshops on the Industrial Estate and there’s a retail unit being planned for the newly refurbished quay.

This, they say, has “seriously fragmented” the spending power of visitors and had a “disastrous” effect on their shop’s income.

But Planning Officer Lisa Walton told councillors at Tuesday’s meeting that the owners hadn’t shown it was unviable and the proposal would result in harm to the main retail area of Scilly.

And a proposed rear window would overlook the newly built properties in Well Cross Lane.

She recommended refusing the plans.

Cllr Fran Grottick said the Council needed to be consistent after the neighbouring property, the Buccabu bike hire shop, also had a similar application turned down earlier this year.

That’s gone to appeal and Cllr Richard McCarthy said it would be “unwise” to approve these plans before the outcome of that was known.

Councillors voted unanimously to turn down the application.

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