Plans to convert an empty hairdresser’s in White Hart Lane to residential use provoked a lively discussion over the future of vacant shops in the town at this month’s town council meeting.
Cllr Andy Govier opposed the planning application saying: “Once a shop has gone to residential use it’s gone for ever as far as retailing is concerned.
“Smaller premises like these are ideal for a start-up business and I remember people coming to me only a year or two ago desperate to find a shop to rent. I realise that we have a number of empty shops in the town centre at present but this is a cyclical situation in my view.”
Cllr John Thorne took a more pragmatic view. “Loose Ends has moved to bigger premises in the High St and there are 16 other ladies hairdressers in the town. It’s disappointing but you can’t argue against it happening.
“Online retailing is affecting every shop except those that are offering services that you can’t get on the internet – like hairdressing.”
The council voted 5-4 to recommend approval for the change to Taunton Deane planning committee who will consider the application next month.