In addition to the shop unit the appellant also proposed 150m2 of office floorspace within the building together with almost 400m2 of warehousing and storage. Although the council was keen to maintain the stock of existing premises the inspector decided that there was likely to be a greater demand for the alternative employment floorspace compared with the permitted general industrial use.
The appellant’s business within a nearby town centre occupied a 200m2 unit and this was inadequate to meet its needs. The company was long established and provided direct and indirect employment as well as an important service to the local community. It would not have a material impact on how the trading estate functioned and the loss of 420m2 of industrial floorspace would not undermine the council’s economic policies, the inspector concluded.
Inspector Elizabeth Lawrence; Written representations