Uncertainty about noise leads to dismissal for double glazing business

The continued use of a former pub in east London for the sale and manufacture of double glazing was denied permission because it might harm the living conditions of neighbours.

The double glazing business took up a double frontage in the parade of local shops. An inspector observed that within the premises there was no clear differentiation between the production and the sales area, such that it had the character of a mixed use.

However, he did not consider that it was so incongruous in the setting as to materially harm the vitality of the parade. He considered that the double glazing shop was somewhat specialist, in that it did not serve a truly local need but, being an apparently successful business, he held that it had to be regarded as beneficial to the wider community.

In view of the fact that the application was for B2 use, he found it reasonable for the council to want to safeguard those living nearby. There were houses to the rear and flats over some of the shops in the parade. The council had asked for a noise survey but no such information had been provided.

The inspector considered that without this information it was not possible to state confidently that there would not be a level of noise from a  B2 manufacturing process which would be regarded as unacceptable in close proximity to a residential area. He acknowledged that it might be possible to control such nuisance through planning conditions controlling the hours of operation and noise but without evidence to show what would be reasonable and enforceable he was not able to take this into account in reaching his decision.

He found, in addition, that the scheme did not make satisfactory arrangements for storing refuse and recyclable materials. He concluded overall that the proposal should be dismissed.

Inspector Geoffrey Hill; Written representations

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