DC Casebook: Leisure and Tourism - Martial arts centre thwarted over parking

An inspector has accepted that change of use of an industrial unit in Warwickshire to a martial arts centre would not harm employment land supply but refused permission due to parking concerns.

The premises had been vacant for more than two years and lay on an industrial estate with another 12 empty units. The appellant claimed that the creation of an indoor sports hall for martial arts training, sports therapy and rehabilitation would provide 12 jobs and would be used in part by people working on the estate.

The inspector referred to PPS4's advice that public uses can create employment opportunities and wider benefits should be considered where there is no reasonable prospect of an economic use emerging. Creating such opportunities in the sports sector comprised such a benefit, she held.

However, she viewed the lack of on-site parking as a major failing, with the plans failing to show how many spaces could be created. Since many customers would travel by car, she was concerned that the absence of spaces could compromise highway safety through on-street parking.

DCS Number 100-069-524

Inspector Alison Lea; Written representations

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