PLANS for a new village shop in St Breward is one step closer to reality after planning permission was granted for the work required to make it happen.

Dr R Kirby-Harris, of St Breward Community Shop Limited, applied to Cornwall Council for a change of use of a building from its previous use as a wine warehouse and industrial unit to a village shop, located at 1 Chyryn Drive.

The plans once executed will see the return of a dedicated shop in the Bodmin Moor village after the previous one, located at Churchtown, closed in June 2023.

In their application to Cornwall Council, the applicant detailed the need the village had for a community shop, saying: “In June 2023, the village shop and post office, based in Churchtown, closed. The shop had been operated for the past six years by the landlord of the successful village pub, the Old Inn and Restaurant.

“The nearest large supermarkets are in Bodmin and Wadebridge, six and eight miles away, respectively. A smaller supermarket is some five miles away in Camelford.

“There are no current public transport links to and from St Breward. A community bus service, run by volunteers, operates a limited timetable for just 15 passengers to various shopping and leisure destinations offering an average of one trip each week.

“Whilst the village population continues to grow, its numbers are further boosted by an influx of seasonal visitors looking to experience the beauty of this moorland setting.”

Demand for the proposed new village shop has been high among the St Breward community, with 97 per cent of those responding to a parish survey stating that they supported the proposal to set up a community run shop and would use it weekly.

Those behind the scheme also anticipate their new venture as being a location for a community hub. They told Cornwall Council: “It is hoped that the shop will become an important social hub for the community, operating from a central location and involving the whole village through the extensive use of volunteers and share ownership.

“As well as the sale of essential goods, the shop will provide a communication and social centre for the village. It will give people the opportunity to be better informed and involved in village life, to create informal support networks and, for some people, to provide a sense of belonging, purpose and self-worth. It will provide a warm space, open to all.

“This will be especially important for the vulnerable or isolated groups in our community including some older people, carers, people with mobility issues and those experiencing loneliness, such as parents with pre-school age children or people working from home.

“It is intended that the shop will provide a wide range of affordable products and that it will endeavour to use local suppliers wherever possible, both to boost the local economy and to minimise ‘food-miles’.”

Of the 27 responses to the planning application by members of the St Breward community, all were in favour of the proposals, with many stating the need for the shop.

St Breward Parish Council also supported the application, stating: “The Parish Council supported this application.

“They felt it important to acknowledge that the village shop would be in a central location, and very close to the original shop which had been in situ for over 100 years.”

The news was also greeted warmly by Scott Mann, the MP for North Cornwall, who said: “I am delighted that people are coming together to provide a great local service. I look forward to dropping in to pick up a pasty and having a chat.”