No sanctuary for church on business park

An inspector decided part of a London borough light industrial unit could not continue in community use as a place of worship.

The appeal premises lay centrally within a strategically important business park and the change of use to D1 was a clear departure from policies affording a high level of protection to the business park for employment uses.

The inspector found the appellants' case lacked substantive evidence of a claimed difficulty finding suitable alternative premises for the church, and an absence of demand for business use of the unit. While sympathetic to the community value of the church and the challenges of securing a site in a constrained urban area with high land and property values, the inspector found insufficient material consideration to set aside the development plan in this case and dismissed the appeal.

Inspector: David Reed; Hearing 

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