Amusement use agreed to diversify centre's range

The reuse of a vacant optician's shop in Coventry as an amusement centre has been permitted after an inspector decided that it would diversify the range of local businesses.

A retail study concluded that the area had a strong convenience goods shopping role but a limited range of comparison shops. The council was concerned that the conversion would erode the area's retail function.

The inspector noted that the frontage was less than four metres across, adjacent uses were all retail and only four of the 30 units in the block were currently in non-retail use. In his view, local authority claims that non-retail uses should not exceed 15 per cent of any particular frontage were unfounded.

Inspector: Harold Stephens; Hearing


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