The site was in a prominent city centre location in a designated primary shopping frontage and related to a listed grade II* building in a conservation area. The main issue, however, was the impact of the proposed change of use on the vitality of the town centre as a whole as the council had already granted listed building consent for the bingo hall.
The inspector noted the existing shopfront was to be retained but was concerned about the proposed window display which was considered to lack visual interest. The inspector was also concerned about the lack of activity during the daytime which would result from the bingo hall use. Vacancy rates nearby were not high and little evidence had been submitted regarding the continued marketing of the existing A1 retail use. There were no material considerations why in this case the adopted policy should not be followed, the inspector concluded.
Inspector: L Fleming; Written Representations