The village shop and cafe, 'The Junction@Clapham', had to apply for retrospective planning permission to continue to operate as a cafe (use class A3), as the original permission only covered its use as a shop (A1). At the meeting of the South Downs National Park Planning Committee on 13th February 2014, the application was approved, but only for three years to 13 February 2017. However, a further application was approved in October 2018.
In response to the temporary permission granted in 2014, a temporary toilet shed, with drainage to a holding tank outside 'Kestrels', has been erected (without permission from the Trustees as landowners) between the building and the hedge. The old Portaloo has been removed.
In the longer term, given that the Portakabin is already long past its sell-by date, it is felt that a complete replacement building is needed, on the same or another site. The 'Clapham and Patching Community Shop and Cafe Project' was therefore established in March 2014 to try to move things forward; the intention was to create a community-owned and community-operated shop and cafe. In Feburary 2016 this was replaced by the more formal 'Clapham and Patching Community Shop and Cafe Project Ltd', which is a Community Benefit Society.
A survey was carried out in 2014 of all Clapham and Patching residents to ascertain their wishes with regard to the future of the shop and cafe; a majority of respondents were in favour of retaining a shop/cafe.
The previous private owner/operator of the village shop and cafe decided to close the business in October 2018. However, the temporary building (and loo) have now been taken over by a village resident, Yvette Fisher, and she has recently signed a ground lease with the Trustees to regularise the occupation of the site. In the longer term it is hoped that it may be possible to establish a community group (wholly or mainly volunteer-run) to operate some form of replacement business.