The site contained a terrace of two-storey class B1 units. The appellants proposed 6,865m2 of business space. The ground floor would provide nine units ranging between 64m2 and 131m2 while the three upper floors would provide open-plan offices. The council's main objection related to the scale of the employment floor space. It argued that provision of small units should be given priority in employment zones containing the site.
The inspector decided that the offices would be suited to large rather than small businesses. The nine ground-floor units, totalling 838m2, would provide only a marginal increase on the 812m2 in the seven existing units, he noted. It was important to create employment opportunities using skills in the local workforce and minimising the need to travel, he held. In his opinion, the scheme did not provide the right balance of small units.
DCS Number 100-069-527
Inspector Derek Thew; Written representations