ALTERATIONS to a former bookshop as part of attempts to convert it into two new homes have moved a step forward – provided a ‘screening issue’ is resolved.

A series of changes as part of plans to turn The Cottage Bookshop, on Elm Road, in Penn, into a pair of private properties have been approved – subject to oversight of a rear privacy screen by the local ward member.

Cllr Jonathan Waters, who called in the application, challenged the effectiveness of a rear screen in “overlooking”.

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He will now assist council officers in ensuring ‘a solid double-row screen’ is installed, aiding privacy.

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

The site requires internal alterations, removal of the existing shop front (bay windows) and reduction of the front canopy.

There is also mention of two rear roof lanterns, changes to a front porch and front window alterations.

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

The bookshop closed its doors to the public in 2018.

“Overlooking issues for properties opposite and to the rear” were flagged by Penn Parish Council.

“I would be happy to work with the officers to come to a conclusion on getting that [screen] detailing right – to try and make sure…that it does actually act as a full screen,” said Cllr Waters.

During an East Buckinghamshire Area Planning Committee, members unanimously agreed to ‘delegate the decision to council officers in consultation with Cllr Waters’.

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