Local need for takeaway outweighed by opposing petition

The change of use of a vacant shop in the west Midlands to a hot food takeaway has been rejected after an inspector placed weight on the number of people opposing the scheme, concluding that a local need had not been demonstrated.

During the process of considering the planning application the appellant had submitted a petition containing 146 signatures supporting the scheme. The planning officer concluded, taking into account a 37-signature petition opposing the scheme along with four letters of objection, that the appellant had demonstrated a small degree of local need. However, the planning committee rejected this conclusion and refused permission.

As part of the appeal process a petition containing 160 signatures of people opposed to the scheme had been submitted, the inspector recorded, and applying a similar approach to the planning committee, the balance of local opinion was against the development meaning that a need had not been demonstrated. Since a core strategy policy required need to be proven the scheme failed to meet this test, the inspector ruled, and this was sufficient to dismiss the appeal.

Inspector: Elaine Benson; Written representations

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