The council was concerned that the change in format of office space, in particular being split over two levels, would reduce its quality and that the proposal failed to demonstrate it would not result in the future loss of an office unit.
The inspector’s reading of local plan policy seeking to protect very small offices revealed no requirement for proposals to demonstrate there would be no future loss of office space. The proposal would not result in the loss of office space and consequently complied with policy. In the inspector’s opinion, different users of very small offices were likely to have different layout requirements and accommodation split over two levels provided flexibility that might suit some users.
Inspector: R Exton; Written representations