Vibrant town centre character protected in pub conversion

The residential conversion of a public house in a grade II listed building within an Oxfordshire town centre was inappropriate, an inspector has determined, because it would erode the range of commercial uses and harm the character of a conservation area.

In support of their appeal the appellants stated that the premises were not located within a primary frontage and no planning policy sought to prevent the loss of commercial floorspace. Offices in the street had been converted to residential use and another pub had closed altering the character of the area, they asserted.

A council study indicated a need for various retail and food and drink uses within the town to 2027, the inspector held, and in her opinion the loss of a public house would be contrary to the need to provide more space. It would reduce visitor attractions and undermine the vitality of the centre and the character of the conservation area which was based on maintaining a vibrant market town atmosphere. Gaining a single house in place of a pub would deliver fewer public benefits and the appeal was dismissed.

Inspector: Jacqueline Wilkinson; Written representations


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