‘RADICAL’ alterations to a former bookshop as part of attempts to convert it into two new homes have been met with “strong” local opposition – with some now calling it a “monstrosity”.

Several local bodies have opposed a series of changes as part of plans to turn The Cottage Bookshop, on Elm Road, in Penn, into a pair of private properties, which is now vacant.

Bucks Free Press:

The applicant, Mr Daniel Upward, seeks conditional permission to change the existing two-storey, semi-detached building into two new two-bedroom properties, each with small courtyard gardens.

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Neither however will have driveways or allocated parking.

The former bookshop would require internal alterations, removal of the existing shop front (bay windows) and reduction of the front canopy, according to a report.

There is also mention in council documents of two rear roof lanterns, changes to a front porch, front window alterations, and a timber privacy screen at the rear of the premises as part of amended plans.

Bucks Free Press:

Planning permission for a change of use was approved in 2019 but works have not yet been completed.

‘Strong concerns’ have been raised by Penn Parish Council, as have other matters from the Chiltern Society, and the Penn and Tylers Green Residents Society.

Other objections cite loss of privacy and a “detrimental impact” to the Penn and Tylers Green Conservation Area.

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“We are concerned the fenestration changes do not fit in with the [conservation area] and the amended development creates overlooking issues for properties opposite and to the rear,” said a parish council spokesperson.

Bucks Free Press:

“After repeated applications we have ended up with a radically altered cottage in the heart of the conservation area and surrounded by listed buildings, which bears very little resemblance either to the shop or to the earlier cottage,” added the residents society.

While the Chiltern Society said the proposed screen and lanterns “will do nothing to improve the building from the outside, but will draw attention to the monstrosity that it is.”

The matter is due for debate during an East Buckinghamshire Area Planning Committee, on Tuesday, January 12.

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