A FORMER village telephone exchange can be used as an office, planners have decided.
Applicant Mr J Fogg told Chester City Council he was seeking approval for the brick-and-tile telephone exchange building in Thornton Green Lane, Thornton-le-Moors, known as the Village Hall Shop, to be used for professional or financial services.
The building, next door to the village hall, is adjacent to the Thornton-le-Moors Conservation Area in Chester’s Green Belt, according to a council report.
The site appears to have been vacant for some time, having been used as a hairdressers for 10 years from 1961 following the closure of the telephone exchange. Then it was used on an informal basis as a post office for three years.
Various unsuccessful attempts had been made since to reopen the building as a shop.
Recommending the application be approved, planning officers said it had clearly not been used as a rural shop for many years.
There would be no detriment if it had approval for financial and professional services, with the option to revert back to a shop if required.
They believed this would enhance the commercial opportunities of the site and said the promotion of the reuse of the building would be beneficial to the community.
No alterations were proposed at this stage.
The city council agreed under delegated powers the change of use should be approved as it would not lead to any unacceptable detriment to neighbouring properties.