Sunday, 27 February 2011

A small hurdle

Things have been fairly quiet on the shop front this weekend. Why? Well, aside from borderline RSI due to excessive flat-pack construction (I just can't help myself), we hit a minor obstacle on our route to opening Seashore Ceramics.

It doesn't bear going into at length, but we discovered we'd have to apply for change of use planning permission on the property we're renting, from standard retail use to 'mixed use'. This meant some very stressful filling-out of some very cryptic forms late one night this week, and a whole day of chasing round different council departments, bits of information and photocopiers for K, so that we could get the application in as soon as humanly possible. By the sounds of it, the whole affair was a bit like that John Cleese film 'Clockwork', but set in the print shops of Newton Abbot.

We're really hoping that our request is going to be approved - in theory it shouldn't be a problem, but they can't guarantee anything, and the wait is up to 8 weeks before we know. Personally, I think they'd be mad to turn it down - a fun, creative, tourist-friendly business is surely just what the area needs, rather than just having a temporary 'fell off the back of a lorry' shop fill the space, or worse, leaving it empty - but then, I'm going to be biased, aren't I!

So, we'd been hoping to open for Mother's Day (first weekend in April), and still plan to if permission comes through earlier. If it takes the full 8 weeks, but as long as we actually get permission, we should still be able to open in time for the Easter holidays. And in the meantime, having taken our metaphorical feet of the gas slightly has given us time to do more work on getting our website and stock ordering set up.

I think things are going to be just fine, it's just a matter of trying to ignore the slight cloud of uncertainty which hangs over us for the near future!

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