A SHOP in Herefordshire is hoping to use shipping containers to expand, a plan which includes a new café being opened.

Hopes of Longtown, a shop in the Golden Valley village, opened in 2001 and is currently made up of a single-storey village shop, post office, farm shop and a number of external outbuildings.

But as part of a new plan, it has applied to Herefordshire Council for planning permission to extend the business using 11 shipping container units.


Those containers will house a kitchen/café space, storage areas and a membership co-share workspace, a design and access statement submitted with plans to the council said.

Owen Hicks Architecture, working for Hopes of Longtown, said that the business was already feeling the pressure from a growing local population.

Consultants said a push for a "substantial increase in housing and other planned developments", as per the Longtown Neighbourhood Development plan, would "undoubtedly" add to the need for the expansion of essential local services.

Want to stay up to date with all the latest news for your local area? It's easy, just sign up for our weekly email newsletter here and all the important stories that matter to you will be delivered straight to your inbox.

This, consultants said, was already being felt by Hopes of Longtown, founded more than 20 years ago by Christine Hope.

If planners give the scheme the green light, the existing stone and corrugated iron outbuildings would be replaced with 11 prefabricated shipping container units measuring around 2.5 metres by six metres each.

They would house a kitchen, cafe, office and storage spaces related to the existing shop and post office, with a timber-framed outdoor seating café area

The majority of the proposed shipping container units would occupy the same footprint as the existing outbuildings, it said.

"Many residents are naturally entrepreneurial," consultants said.


"Working from home during Covid has always been enjoyable and we wish to offer an affordable option when doing work at the office or home just isn’t right.

"Complementing the hybrid forms of working, offering working space but access to the fastest wifi and a cafe right next door to host business clients you make not want in your home."

They added: "Hopes was born out of wanting to make a difference to a rural community and opportunity this is a development to the next level. Award-winning Hopes of Longtown has a reputation for championing local producers of all sizes.

"In everything Hopes of Longtown does, a key consideration is continued development of the community and reducing its impact on the environment."

Comments on application 223847 can be made until January 15.