Local fabric stores secures consent on trading estate

The owner of a local business in Surrey secured permission for the change of use of a general industrial unit on a trading estate to enable him to open a 420m2 shop selling fabrics and soft furnishings, an inspector ruling that it was the only site available to meet the needs of the business.

400-002-341 (Image Credit: Bell Cornwell LLP)
400-002-341 (Image Credit: Bell Cornwell LLP)

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

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