Pub to open built-in shop and become village's 'focal hub'

The Saracens Head in Newton Green, which could be adding a small shop unit

The Saracens Head in Newton Green, which could be adding a small shop unit - Credit: Google

A landlord's plan to open a convenience store inside of her Newton Green pub has been given the green light.

Beverley Faulkner, who manages the Saracens Head in Sudbury Road, applied to Babergh District Council in December seeking permission to install a small shop unit inside the property.

Planning documents submitted alongside the proposals said the pub was the "last remaining community facility" for residents of Newton Green, with no other stores in the village and the population continuing to grow.

The plans said the proposed store would add "variety and richness" and allow the pub to become a "focal hub" in the small village.

The documents added: "It is hoped that the pub/food trade can return to a capacity that existed prior to Covid-19 and when public confidence in eating out has been gained.

"But in such uncertain times and through a need to diversify, these proposals are seen as providing a much needed facility."

Community leaders from Newton Parish Council raised no objection to the scheme and said they were in favour of the plans.

Babergh planners gave the proposals the go-ahead earlier this week.

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Mrs Faulkner said she had been planning to open up a store within her pub for several years as a means of serving the community.

The nearest town to Newton Green is Sudbury, which is several miles from the centre of the village.

The Saracens Head has been closed for large parts of the last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Mrs Faulkner saying she feels "lucky" to still be in a position to do business.

An opening date for the shop is yet to be confirmed, but the landlord has said she will update the village's residents on the progress of the revamp.

Mrs Faulkner said: "The village is growing and we haven't had a shop for years.

"There's no other shops nearby and this is something I've been wanting to do for a long time.

"It will be another string to my bow and will be helpful the people in the village.

"It hasn't been easy for me and I've had to go along with many other people with pubs. I'm lucky to be where I am still."