Oxfam aims to return to Sidmouth with new town centre charity shop

Oxfam wants to return to Sidmouth with a new charity shop in the town centre.

The poverty-tackling international cause has been revealed as the would-be tenant of 49 High Street.

It has submitted a planning application to tailor the layout of the recently-revamped premises and to add signage bearing its name and logo.

The proposals have already won the backing of town councillors.

Oxfam’s former Sidmouth store, in Temple Street, shut in March 2016 – with changing shopping habits blamed for its demise.

Now, the charity wants to open an outlet at 49 High Street, formerly the Co-Operative bank.

The cause has asked East Devon District Council (EDDC) for listed building consent to reconfigure the internal layout of the ground floor of the premises to suit the new shop format.

This will entail customer retail to the front and sorting, pricing and processing of donated goods towards the rear.

Reinstating a previously-removed pair of air conditioning units and an air handling unit is also proposed.

Oxfam also wants to install one non-illuminated projecting sign and one external fascia sign and to redecorate the shop front.

“The proposed changes are in keeping with the High Street location and will be a good addition to the vibrant and busy high street within Sidmouth,” state the plans.

Plans for the proposed Oxfam store in High Street, Sidmouth.

Plans for the proposed Oxfam store in High Street, Sidmouth.

“It is considered that these proposals respect the historical value of the property and will enable Oxfam as the new tenant of this new ground-floor retail unit to add to the appeal of the vibrant Sidmouth town for local residents/visitors alike with a mix of high-quality donated/second-hand products and a range of ethically-sourced new products.”

It is added in the application: ““The ground floor has recently been extended/reconfigured to provide approximately 1,700sq ft of open plan retail space.

“A tenant like Oxfam would find this space attractive/useable for the purposes of opening a charity shop within a busy and vibrant high street location such as this.

“This was achieved by the reconfiguring of a number of internal walls and by installing a brand-new attractive timber shop front.”

Sidmouth Town Council’s Planning Committee supported the proposals, with members stating the air conditioning units should be switched off between 8pm and 8am to reduce noise pollution overnight.

Sidmouth’s former New Look outlet in Fore Street outlet is set to become a Children’s Hospice South West charity shop if a planning application is successful.

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