The premises fronted a busy main road with very high levels of activity and traffic well into the evening. The council claimed that the change of use undermined local residents' amenity, harmed highway safety and breached a unitary development plan (UDP) policy to retain retail uses meeting local needs.
The inspector noted that no complaints had been made by residents in the two years the club had been operating. He reasoned that parking demand was likely to be restricted to evenings, when more on-street parking would be available than in the day.
In his view, the parade had already lost its ability to meet the local population's essential shopping needs. The UDP recognised that some local centres might cease to fulfil a viable shopping function and alternative uses for vacant shop units should be considered, he observed.
Inspector: Andrew Dale; Written representations