PLANNING permission has been given for a West Somerset village Post Office and shop to be converted to a house after Somerset Council accepted the business was unviable.

Nether Stowey postmaster Colin Penny had tried unsuccessfully for several years to sell the business so he could retire, with the latest asking price at £480,000.

Eventually, he applied to convert the three-storey building at the junction of Castle Street and Lime Street to a house.

Mr Penny’s plans were supported by parish councillors who recognised the business was no longer viable and believed the change would make good use of the building.

Councillors also felt there would be fewer traffic issues without commercial deliveries and Post Office customers.

Somerset planning officer Shanta Parsons said the loss of a community facility was ‘regrettable’, but it was allowed where a business was shown not to be viable.

Ms Parsons said: “The business has been marketed since 2016 with six estate agents involving a few regional and national business agents at what appears to be a realistic price with no success of sale.

“Details of the accounts have been provided which shows a reducing profit, to the point that it appears to be uneconomical and unviable to operate.

“As such, it is considered that the principle of change of use of the whole premises to residential is acceptable.”

The decision leaves Kilve as the next-nearest Post Office for Nether Stowey, although the shop premises in which it is housed is currently for sale for £645,000.