Villagers in Funtington will have a new place to shop in the future after a pub was given the go-ahead to convert a stable block into a convenience store.
The village has been crying out for a new shop after the Country Fayre closed down before Christmas, and their calls have been answered, thanks to The Fox and Hounds.
The pub was given permission to convert an old flint stable block into a shop in the same week as an application was made to turn the Country Fayre into four flats.
The landlord Louise Genrey was quick to thank the public and Funtington Parish Council for their support – and is hoping the shop can be open before the end of summer.
“It’s wonderful, we can start moving ahead now,” she said. “We have had a petition from the local people and the parish council has got behind us.
“It’s been hugely positive, everybody has generally got behind it.
“I think people realised once the Country Fayre went how much they relied on it, and maybe should have used it more.”
She said work would start on the conversion project in several months time.
“We are just finishing up the development of the function room at the pub, so as soon as that is done we will move on.”
After submitting the application they had a lot of feedback from local suppliers who were interested in being a part of the shop.
“We have had lots of interest from local people that sell local products,” she said.
“We have heard from bread suppliers, a condiments company. Predominantly it’s about convenience.
“There is a farm shop down the road, and there’s no point overlapping with them.
“The biggest thing now is to work out what shape the shop is going to take.
“The villagers have had some great ideas about things. We have to be realistic about it. It’s something for the community,”
The idea for the shop started after the pub began opening for breakfast and started selling a selection of newspapers for punters.
The village’s previous shop, the Country Fayre, closed in October, and now looks set to be turned into four flats.
A planning application has been made to change the use of the building into two self contained ground floor flats with a new porch, and a first floor with two further self contained flats.
To comment on the planning application for four flats at the Country Fayre write to Chichester District Council quoting the application number FU/12/00538/FULNP.