Planning the development of the Courtyard Café 

 Before we completed the purchase of Tewin Stores premises in Augut 2019, we had begun think about how we might refurbish the shop, improve the facilities, and enclose the courtyard so that it could be used in all weathers. Our final decision has taken into account not only the cost of the refurbishment of the building but also the importance of ensuring the continued viability of the community asset we all share. 


After careful consideration of every one of 7 possible internal layouts and with the help of some initial advice from Ted Kavanagh and Martyn Perkins we made the decision in December 2019 to retain the same basic internal arrangements.   This means that the courtyard, kitchen, shop area and toilet will be sited in the same areas of the shop footprint as they are now. 


Whilst many details of the build have yet to be agreed, the AGM in March 2021 agreed this basic layout because (1) we know it works and (2) it is the cheapest option by far and (3) it might be possible to keep the shop open whilst some of the building works are carried out.  


During January February and March 2020, coinciding with the start of the Corona 19 virus pandemic, when we all entered a new world order, we appointed local surveyor, Ted Kavanagh, to carry out a measured survey. We expected that the Planning Department would be most concerned about how the roofs looked from the road as you come into the village from Hertford and on Ted’s recommendation, we applied for pre-application planning advice from East Herts District Council on the roof elevations.  Two design options were submitted on 27 August 2020..  


We received planning advice on 19 January 2021.  Both the Planning Officer and the Conservation Officer recognised the community benefit of the proposed development and accepted the need for the roof extension.   However, they were concerned that the roof structure should not dominate or impact on the nature of the surrounding buildings and the appearance of the Conservation Area. 


After initial discussions with our neighbours – Geoff Parkinson and Peter Bates – we appointed Watton based Architects, Studio C, to work up a detailed internal layout.  This now includes a disabled access internal WC and a storeroom that can be accessed from the service entrance side gate.  

The Planning Application was submitted at the end of July 2021. 

Following comments from our neighbour regarding the boundary fence, a revised plan was submitted on 3 September 2021.