A VILLAGE hall is set to be converted into a post office and shop to replace the existing facility next door.
The owners, Mohammad and Lorna Naseem, are planning to close their shop in the High Street, Wanborough, in order to enjoy their retirement, and despite attempting to sell their business on, they have had no success in finding a buyer.
Mohammad, 68, said: “We have been here for 22 years and for five or six years we have been wanting to retire.
“But unfortunately we have not been able to find someone to buy the business. It is quite expensive in the area and anybody has to think twice about buying here.
“I am pleased the parish council have decided to take this over because it means that we can retire.
“But it also means that there will still be a shop in Wanborough for the customers which is the most important thing.”
To prevent the village losing a valuable local amenity, the parish council has decided to convert and extend the hall.
Gary Sumner, chairman of Wan-borough Parish Council, said the new plans would help Lorna and Mohammad to retire without taking away a community asset.
As well as the shop and post office, the village hall itself will be extended, meaning community groups like the Scouts, Cubs and playgroup will still be able to use the hall.
Gary said: “It’s not just Wanborough, but people from Bishopstone also use the shop, and it’s better than having to go all the way to Sainsbury’s to get milk.”
Gary added: “They will actually get more space than before because we’re extending it.
“There will be a bit of disruption while the building takes place but we’ve already spoken to the groups and told them that alternative places will be made available, like our facilities at Hooper’s Field.”
One resident looking forward to the change was Diane Rendell.
The 49-year-old said: “I think it’s good because it keeps the shop and post office in the village.
“I always use the shop and the post office. It’s particularly good because you can put money in through there.
“I think the parish council have looked into all the options and I don’t think there will be much disruption.
“I’m looking forward to it.”
Residents have until March 10 to comment on the plans, and if they are approved, construction is expected to begin in August.
To view the plans visit www.swindon.gov.uk/planning and search for application number S/14/0257.