VILLAGERS living in an historic market town are frustrated to see the opening of another new coffee shop.

Coffee#1, a British coffee house chain, is due to open in the old Lloyds Chemist premises in Market Place, Wallingford.

However, people would rather see retailers such as clothes shops, an ice cream parlour or a greengrocer instead.

In a poll posted by this paper on the Facebook group, Wallingford Matters, villagers voted for the type of businesses they would like to see.

Herald Series: 184 people voted for a clothes or furniture shop.184 people voted for a clothes or furniture shop.

A total of 748 votes were cast with 184 people saying they'd like to see a clothes or furniture store, 85 voting for a greengrocers and 79 for an ice cream parlour.

Another 71 people said they wanted to see a butchers, 55 people said a bakery, 32 people said a community space, and 30 asked for a children's clothes shop.

The town currently has about four empty premises which are in the process of being leased or are yet to be advertised.

Mayor Marcus Harris said that empty units do not stay available for long in the town. Ten new businesses have opened their doors since last summer such as Jim Beans and Five Little Pigs.

Mr Harris said the town council will "keep residents in mind" when commenting on future planning applications but said councillors don't have the opportunity to do that for every new business.

He said: "We look very positively on any business that wants to move to Wallingford. As councillors we're all residents of the town so we want what's right for the community.

"However the planning laws are really hard to gauge. For example, Coffee#1 didn't have to apply for planning permission and the same with Jim Beans coffee shop.

"The council has a very limited say, we're not the landlords and we are helpless to stop anyone who complies with planning laws coming in.

"I think almost certainly we'll keep residents in mind when commenting on planning applications. I don't think residents like chain shops and there is a move to have more independents in the town again which we'd love to see.

"Personally, I'd love to see a butchers come back as well as a fish mongers and bakery. There are lots of great shops we lost as we have such a splendid Waitrose but it tends to squeeze out smaller retailers."

Herald Series: People also suggested an ice cream parlour or greengrocers.People also suggested an ice cream parlour or greengrocers.

Mr Harris said the council is currently reviewing a 10-year-strategy to 'set a direction for what Wallingford will become' which will give residents the opportunity to share their thoughts on the type of businesses wanted.

He added: "The council would like to see a rich, wide variety of independent shops, retailers and hospitality venues, building on Wallingford's quirkiness."