Lawshall former village shop is sold
The former Lawshall Village Shop has been sold with the new owner aiming to let it out as a business.
The village has designated the closed shop in The Glebe as a community asset and stressed in its Neighbourhood Plan the importance to the community of a village shop.
The shop has a self contained two-bedroom flat above and has been sold as a freehold by Barker Storey Matthews for an undisclosed sum.
It was the only shop in Lawshall and closed in June 2016 after being run in the village for many years.
Since it closed villagers have had to travel to Sicklesmere and Cockfield for Post Office services and foodstuffs.
The new owner is currently refurbishing the premises and aims to improve its energy efficiency before letting it as a commercial concern.
The property was marketed at £175,000 but the price agreed is confidential.
Steven Mudd of Barker Storey Matthews said there is a good demand for sensibly priced properties like this given the lack of available freehold commercial premises in villages.
“The cooling of residential freehold prices does not appear to have affected the commercial market in Bury St Edmunds and its surrounding villages,” he added.
The village’s neighbourhood plan was passed last October and has now been adopted by Babergh District Council and this will inform all future planning matters.
In the plan’s consultation on community services villagers were asked about amenities including the village shop. The biggest response highlighted the importance of having a village shop and the ‘distress’ at its closure which states the plan was not due to lack of success. There was also strong support for further shops for the 800 strong community.
Among actions agreed in the plan were to work to continue to secure the re-opening of the shop, or if that is unsuccessful to provide a new shop in a suitably convenient location.
Andrew Irish, parish council vice-chairman, said: “The village shop is an important part of the community and we hope it will return to this use.”