DC Casebook: Commercial and industrial - Car sales approved at motorbike dealers

An inspector has agreed to vary a condition imposed on planning permission for a motorcycle dealership in Dorset to allow the sale of cars and other four-wheeled vehicles.

The condition, imposed on visual amenity grounds, stipulated that only two-wheeled vehicles should be sold from the site. The council argued that the site's prominence required control over the nature and size of vehicles parked on the frontage. The owners sought permission to mark out 14 bays to accommodate cars, with motorcycles continuing to be sold from the premises.

The inspector noted that the permission did not restrict the number of motorcycles displayed. Car sales from 14 bays would reduce the number of people visiting the site, he reasoned. Parking on a main road is not uncommon in urban areas and the council did not suggest that car sales would trigger a material change of use, he noted.

The inspector saw little evidence to support highway authority claims that the scheme would undermine safety by encouraging vehicles to back up on the main road. The existing business did not create such problems, he noted. He imposed a condition requiring 14 bays to be marked out prior to the sale of four-wheeled vehicles and for them to be parked in these spaces.

DCS Number 100-069-582

Inspector Gareth Symons; Written representations.


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