Exciting new plans could see a village store and community cafe become “the beating heart” of West Pinchbeck.
Sheard Enterprises Ltd wants to build the store and cafe, which would have three double rooms above for holiday lets, on the site of a former pub, The New Bridge Inn.
The pub site at the junction of Slipe Drove and the A151 is already cleared and building could begin this year if South Holland District Council gives planning consent.
Plans were drawn up by Gosberton-based J B Architectural Design Services and the firm’s James Bramma says the aim is to provide a sustainable business, with a shop and community cafe that will provide social and networking opportunities for residents.
The River Glen lies on the northern boundary of the site and it is close to the Pinchbeck Fen Slipe Nature Reserve.
Mr Bramma believes the holiday accommodation will be perfect for anglers or those who enjoy visiting the nature reserve – and it may become more popular still with boaters if the Fens Waterways Link Project is further progressed.
The ultimate goal of that project is to link Lincolnshire and the River Witham with Cambridgeshire and the River Great Ouse.
On the riverbank opposite the pub site, there is a boating slipway and moorings which are believed to be part of the link project.
Mr Bramma says plans for the holiday lets include a double room for use by disabled people and two twin rooms.
The planning application was received by the district council on Thursday and it’s not yet known when a decision will be made.
Mr Bramma says if the application goes smoothly, and consent is given, construction could begin by the end of the summer and the building could be up and running in a year’s time – or even nine months if there is a “good turn around” by the chosen contractors.
In a design and access statement submitted with the planning application, the developers say: “The proposed development would be a community asset and become a hub for social activities and rural community networking.
“Shops and cafes are the beating heart of village life and without them the most vulnerable in our rural communities, such as the elderly and people without access to transport, can become increasingly isolated.
“A village store and community cafe with holiday accommodation would first and foremost create jobs for local people in the village.
“The overnight tourist accommodation above would help sustain the viability of the shop and cafe below, making use of the immediate river and nature reserve surroundings for activities such as fishing, boating, bird watching, walking etc as well as serving as a base for the tourist attractions of the wider Lincolnshire area.”
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