As we’ve mentioned on the stall, we want to turn the old betting shop into a Greengrocers/Local farm shop.
We made an offer on Monday and which was verbally accepted, only to be called by the agent on Wednesday to say that another offer had since been received from an existing party that “blew all the others out the water”. This offer we now know is from a Mr Carlos Rodrigues of the Smarts Takeway empire of Witney. He has been trying to get his proposed takeaway through planning since Autumn 2010 but is held up on a condition that the fan extraction noise cannot exceed 30 dB (very quiet – commercial extractors are 40db at the very least. even with silencers). According to the planning officer concerned in Witney, this would be “too onerous and the costs involved would render the business unviable” and, as of October last year, he was advised to seek alternative premises. Nonetheless, he still seems determined to get it through, so much so, that in addition to his offer he has also put down a cash sweetener. We have been advised by the agent that all offers are to be on the table by next Tuesday for the vendor to consider.
In our favour is the fact that all other offers are for takeaways and the vendor, as owners of the flat above as well, are concerned that a takeaway would decrease its rental value due to noise, smells, etc.
While we can up our offer slightly and still make the project viable, this is as far as we can go. Looking through the planning file in Witney today, we noted no less than 10 objections were received to Rodrigues’ original application (and yet it still went through!). I would hope therefore that the village of Eynsham would favour our project over yet another takeaway any day.
This is where you come in. Would you be prepared to put round a group email to your contacts in the village asking them to drop us a quick email of support by Tuesday please? The stronger a community message we can put forward, the more we can look favourable against Rodrigues’ financial clout.
Jonathan and Lucy
Millwood Market Gardens