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Plans for Shepherd's Hut pub get the green light

Plans to transform the former Shepherd’s Hut pub in Eton Wick into a cafe with six adjacent homes have received the backing of councillors.

The panel unanimously voted to approve the proposal, which involves the demolition of 49 Victoria Road and part demolition of the Shepherd’s Hut, at a Windsor Area Development Management Panel meeting at York House on Wednesday.

Councillors were told the Eton and Eton Wick Neighbourhood Plan saw an ‘overwhelming majority’ of residents express a desire for a cafe or informal meeting place to be built in the village.

At the meeting non-voting member, Cllr Samantha Rayner (Con, Eton and Castle) said: “When the Shepherd’s Hut closed over three years ago, the villagers in Eton Wick were very concerned.

“The aspiration of the village has always been for a cafe which is evidenced in the neighbourhood plan.

“This application supports this and the loss of the public house is heavily outweighed by the benefits of a cafe.”

The plans also include six new homes, which were considered by planning officers to be of a suitable design and scale and not harmful to the character and appearance of the area.

“The six new homes all have outside space and will create family homes in a thriving and popular village with a strong community,” said Cllr Rayner.

Addressing the panel, Cllr Julian Sharpe (Con, Ascot and Sunninghill) suggested solar panels be used given the climate emergency declared by the council.

The Royal Borough’s deputy planning officer Ashley Smith responded: “It is not proportionate on this particular scheme and therefore my advice is not to ask for it.”

Posting on Twitter after the meeting, Cllr Amy Tisi (Lib Dem, Clewer East) wrote: “It was great to be able to approve a scheme which was sympathetic to the village setting, provides housing and a cafe for a valuable community meeting space.”

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