Residential conversion of community centre not harmful to local centre health

Allowing the change of use of a vacant community centre within a small parade in a Gloucestershire local centre would not adversely affect its vitality and viability.

The small parade of three units included a local convenience store, a pharmacy and the appeal site. A development plan policy advised that the change of use of retail premises at ground floor to other uses would be resisted. But this did not preclude the change of use of a community centre, which last occupied the building and which comprised its lawful use. Even when in use it was not contributing to the retail health of the centre, the inspector held. There appeared to be little prospect of it being re-occupied either by a community centre or a retail use and its conversion to residential, which was not excluded by the council’s policies given this context, was therefore acceptable. The appeal was allowed.

Inspector: Andrew Dawe; Written representations

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