VILLAGERS are being invited to get involved with plans for a village shop in a derelict


Earlier this year, Colchester Council’s planning committee agreed to defer a decision on the Langenhoe Lion in Mersea Road, Langenhoe, being turned into four homes.

The recommendation was to approve the plans, providing certain conditions were met after two previous applications in 2014 and 2016 to create some sort of commercial space or GP surgery fell through due to a lack of interest. Abberton and Langenhoe Parish Council strongly opposed the plans for housing, saying there would be a “substantial loss of community spirit”.

The developer subsequently agreed to look at the plans again if the community was willing to run the shop.

Colchester Council has approved the bid for three homes and a shop with a one-bedroom flat above.

The parish council has drawn up a business plan for a community shop.

The new venture will be called the Abberton and Langenhoe Community Shop Limited and would be run by volunteers.

The community will be invited to buy shares in the shop and the council expects around 200 people to sign up.

Villagers received an update on the plans at a meeting on Monday.

The parish council said the speed of the plans was now very much in the hands of the developers.

Clerk Carolyn McSweeney said: “We have had a huge amount of support not just from Abberton and Langenhoe but from other villages without the facilities like Fingringhoe.”

She said the council had already had villagers come forward to offer help for the project.

The parish council will be providing updates on its website and Facebook page.

Villagers are also invited to attend parish council meetings or contact the council to get involved.