A plan to turn a Herefordshire village café and shop back into a house has been given the go-ahead, despite fears it will make the village “less vibrant”.

The ground floor of The Stores on the main B4218 Walwyn Road through Colwall near Malvern was converted to shop use “many years ago”, according to the application for change of use by owner Mrs A Burkinshaw.

The Victorian semi-detached property has been through several recent incarnations, having traded as The Pavilion, The Stores and Bonne Bouche. But her submission claimed no commercial buyer for the premises had been found since late 2020.


Colwall Parish Council said it strongly objected to the application as it showed no evidence of efforts to find an alternative, non-hospitality use for a property lying “very close to the centre of a village with a growing population”.

Despite its original use a house, the ground floor “has been in commercial use since at least the 1920s”, councillors claimed.

Colwall resident Stewart Wilson also objected, saying: “Further losses of commercial premises would damage the vibrancy of the village.”


But Herefordshire Council’s housing officer said there was a need for two-bedroom properties in Colwall.

And its nearness to village facilities also made it a sustainable location for housing, planning officer Emily Brookes said, adding that the conversion would not harm the amenity of its immediate neighbours.

The loss of the commercial property “would not be to the detriment of Colwall’s street frontage”, she concluded.