Editor's pick: Loss of village stores contrary to permitted development rules

The conversion of a village shop and post office in west Sussex to a dwelling house would conflict with Class IA of Part 3 to Schedule 2 of the GPDO 1995, an inspector has held, dismissing an appeal against the council's decision.

In acknowledging the economic pressures experienced by village shops and post offices over the past 20 years, the inspector expressed concern at the loss of the only post office in the village. This loss along with the settlement’s main shop would deprive residents of important services, the harm exacerbated by poor access to other facilities by public transport. Given the strong opposition to the scheme by local residents it was clear that the outlet was much valued and as a consequence it was not permitted development because it would entail the loss of a building providing local services.

Inspector: Edward Gerry; Written representations

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