Town centre test prevails on warehouse sales bid

Concerns that an uncontrolled retail use would result have led an inspector to dismiss proposals for ancillary sales from three warehouse units in the Black Country.

The appeal units were located at a business park safeguarded under the council’s core strategy policy for employment uses, including trade wholesale retailing. The appellant sought permission for a tile warehouse, a furniture trade sales unit and a wholesale, online and trade counter sales unit for a fishing tackle firm. Under the core strategy policy, proponents of any out-of-centre retail development had to demonstrate that it could not be provided in town centre or edge-of-centre location.

The appellant argued that sales would be ancillary to the units’ storage and distribution use, so there was no requirement for a sequential assessment. Having regard to the specifics of the application and the absence of any mechanism to restrict sales to online or trade sales, the inspector decided that the proposal amounted to a retail use over which there would be no planning control. This would be contrary to policies protecting designated employment sites and directing retail uses to more central locations, he concluded.

Inspector: Graham Wyatt; Written representations


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