Antiques emporium plan for closed Sidbury social club

Sidbury's Village Inn. Image from Google Street View

Sidbury's Village Inn. Image from Google Street View - Credit: Archant

Sidbury’s ‘empty and redundant’ former social club could be converted into an antiques emporium, if a planning application gets the go-ahead.

Proposals say the Fore Street venue closed due to ‘a lack of sustainable use’ and the new use is unlikely to have ‘anything other than a beneficial effect’ on the area.

The Village Inn, formerly Sidbury Social Club, hosted skittle nights, bingo, a weekly meat draw and quiz nights since it opened in 1973.

Committee members took the ‘hard decision’ to shut its doors for the last time on January 1 this year.

The application from owner Sidbury Manor Estate says: “The building has been empty and redundant for several months, having been a social club for a number of years.

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“At one time Sidbury boasted two pubs, tea rooms, village shop, post office, butcher and the club.

“Sadly, only the village shop/butcher’s shop and one pub have survived due to modern demands and, although the club thrived for a time when the pub came close to closure, the pub is now under new ownership and is functioning very satisfactorily.

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“There is no appetite for the club to be resurrected in Sidbury.

“With the loss of other businesses, it is to be welcomed that someone has identified a use for the building which will help it to attract people to the village and bring activity to the centre.”

The application adds: “The proposed change of use should be welcomed as a positive solution to a building that has few other options.”

The 1970s building has been marketed for nearly six months and there has been some interest, but the only proposal has been to use it as an antiques emporium.

The plans say the building lends itself ‘very satisfactorily’ to being used for displaying antique furniture and with minor maintenance could be up and running in a ‘very short time’.

The proposed business will have two employees, one working full time and one part-time.

According to the application, the building could not be converted to commercial or residential use.

East Devon District Council will decide its fate.

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