Commercial unit change of use to retail fails sequential test

The change of use of and extension of a two storey printing business in Bedfordshire to facilitate the provision of a convenience store failed the sequential test, an inspector determined, while also ruling that the scale of the development did not require an assessment of the potential trading effects.

The premises did not lie within an existing centre and the appellant had not submitted a sequential test confirming that no sequentially preferable sites were suitable and available. Granting permission in the absence of clear evidence could have an adverse impact on the vitality and viability of existing centres, the inspector judged. While one proposal might not have a significant impact the effects could be more severe if a number were approved without adequate consideration as to whether they could be sited within or on the edge of existing centres.

Inspector: Richard Aston; Written representations

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