Factory demolition harms industrial estate function

Demolishing a large factory in Cumbria to facilitate the erection of 65 dwellings, would undermine the ability of an industrial estate to properly function, an inspector decided also agreeing with the council that the existing premises could be upgraded to meet modern day requirements.

200-008-084 (Image Credit: Allerdale BC)
200-008-084 (Image Credit: Allerdale BC)

The 8,000m2 unit had been vacant since 2010 and the appellant had undertaken an extensive marketing campaign which yielded four enquiries and no successful transactions. However, at the hearing the appellant conceded that temporary use of part of the building had been secured which it was claimed assisted in securing the unit and preventing trespass.

The inspector decided that the more recent interest demonstrated that the site and the wider industrial estate remained an attractive location for business operations. No substantive information on the non-viability of sub-dividing the unit or erecting a new factory on the site had been provided. Moreover, introducing houses in relatively close proximity to existing industrial uses, would inhibit the functioning of the estate because of the risk that future occupiers would complain about potential noise and odours. The fact that employment land was not in short supply, the inspector concluded that the adverse impact on the well-being and amenity of future occupiers coupled to the effects on the surrounding industrial estate, significantly and demonstrably outweighed the benefits of providing more housing.

Inspector: Gareth Fort; Hearing

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