Antiques business to continue despite housing approval

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Part of an antiques shop in Clare could be turned into housing after planning permission for the move was extended.

Members of St Edmundsbury Council gave their consent to proposals to change a section of Clare Antiques and Interiors in Maltings Lane from retail to residential use on Thursday.

Chris and Carmel Marchant, who run the shop, had seen the plans approved in 2009 but the time period in which to begin work was due to elapse.

Although councillors unanimously agreed to the potential change of use there were a number of objections.

Clare Town Council had called for the plans to be refused as the building would only have one fire exit and neighbour Stuart Green raised concerns that sewage from the house would run into a cesspit on his land.

Despite receiving the go ahead for the move Mr Marchant has said an area of only 1,100 square feet was likely to be renovated and the business would remain.

“As long as the business is financially viable we will keep going,” he said.

The couple now have a further three years to start any work on the plans.