Vacant wine bar and taxi office conversion to residential agreed with mitigation

Subject to an appellant in east Sussex undertaking appropriate measures of mitigation the conversion of a vacant wine bar and taxi office to three apartments was acceptable, an inspector also ruling that there would be no adverse impact on the character of the area.

The site was in close proximity a town centre and the area included a mix of uses including several hot food takeaways, a bingo hall, a taxi office and hairdresser. The premises also abutted an access to a nightclub, the inspector noted, and the owners had commented that allowing the appeal might have an impact on its opening times and had requested information on noise mitigation. The inspector decided that with the use of mechanical ventilation and double glazing the impact of noise from road traffic and the nightclub would not give rise to unacceptable living conditions nor give rise to pressures on the council to control other uses in the area.

The inspector made a full award of costs in favour of the appellant. The council had failed to address the results of a noise report provided by the appellant which clearly set out appropriate mitigation measures. In presenting its case the council did not comment on the adequacy or otherwise of double glazing. It appeared that the application had been determined under delegated powers which highlighted the appellant’s concerns about the manner in which it had been determined. The council’s concerns about the impact on the character and appearance of the area of a bin store was also unreasonable since such a facility could be incorporated within the building.

Inspector: Sheila Holden; Written representations

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