ALTERED plans to open a kitchen showroom where one of Winchester’s long-running independent stores once stood have been approved by city council planners.

As previously reported, a planning application was submitted in September to convert the former Wilds Sports shop in Jewry Street.

The proposal by Jeffrey Forrester included a controversial change to the period shopfront.

A separate application, also submitted by Mr Forrester, was seeking permission to create individual lettering studs fixed to timber fascia, changing the appearance of the independent store.

The building would be used by Tom Howley Kitchens, which describes itself on its website a having “established an exceptional reputation, where attention to detail and superb British craftsmanship are second to none”.

However, both applications were rejected by planners, who cited their negative impact.

Planning officer Liz Marsden wrote in her decision: “The proposal would result in the removal of the recessed entrance, which would be infilled to create a flat frontage.

“Although the simple design of the proposed frontage is not unattractive, the loss of the existing detailing will have a material impact on the character and appearance of the building, to its detriment.”

However, under the new scheme the shop front will be kept with minor changes to the depth of the doorway, and a new white appearance.

Commenting on the new plans, Ms Marsden said: “The current proposal, whilst reducing the depth of the recess, retains sufficient to maintain the character of the shopfront and, importantly will retain and a repair as much of the original detailing as possible.

A spokesman for the City of Winchester Trust, which objected to the previous scheme, added: “The Trust welcomes the revisions to the former proposal which will now retain the fine details of the original shopfront.

“However, it did not feel that any satisfactory case had been made for reducing the depth of the doorway by 500mm, which would necessitate cutting into the window frames and the ceiling panels.”