The wonderful secret contained within this seemingly everyday convenience store
At first glance it’s an everyday convenience store on a busy village road. But behind the nondescript façade, it contains a wonderful secret – spectacular views of the West Pennine moors and beyond.
The owners of the long established J&S Convenience Store on New Street, Blackrod, are hoping to more than double the space of their shop and the living quarters above by extending into the next door house, according to a recent planning application.
In documents published by Bolton Council in support of the planning application, the owners say the current retail floorspace, at just 51 sq metres, is ‘too cramped’ and there is ‘barely enough space for customers to walk around’. But it’s in the plans for the upstairs living areas to be turned into a three-bed flat that the delightful secret of the premises is revealed.
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The planning documents show images of the spectacular, panoramic views that can be enjoyed from the upstairs rear of the properties. The sweeping view contains Rivington Pike, Winter Hill and much of the West Pennine moors, along with parts of the Smithills estate and the Douglas river valley in the foreground.
A balcony forms part of the plans and the application states: “The rear benefits from spectacular views so a balcony is proposed.
“The balcony would not overlook any gardens and the closest property to the rear does not have any principal windows facing this property.”
A previous similar application which included an ATM for the shop was refused. The latest application says that issues identified with that refusal have been addressed.
The design and access statement said: “The applicant owns both properties and is seeking to use the ground floor of both properties as a larger shop and to use the upper floor as an ancillary flat to reside in. This statement has been updated following a refusal in May 2023 and addresses issues raised in the officer report.
“The shop is currently too cramped and there is barely enough space for customers to walk around and for the shop to carry enough stock, let alone for people with limited mobility.
“The store is also seeking to survive by investment and a business plan that seeks to cater for local people and provide added value by a personal touch and enhanced customer service.
“A new ATM was included in the previous refusal but this is no longer proposed. The shop will be linked to a new flat upstairs where the applicant will reside.”
Bolton Council will decide on the plans in the coming weeks.