Town council fail to fend off retail threat

A petrol filling station with an M&S forecourt shop was granted permission on a brownfield site in an edge of centre location in a north Yorkshire market town after an inspector rejected the town council's concerns.

The inspector doubted the small shop with only a limited range of goods would become a shopping destination in its own right or that the number of new vehicle movements would worsen the capacity of the local road network and lead to congestion, or harm air quality.

The town council also pointed to alternative sites that, in their opinion, were preferable locations for the development but the inspector stated that they all failed the retail sequential test because they were either in out-of-centre locations or were subject to flood and tanker access constraints. The inspector concluded the proposal did not contravene the local plan town centre first approach because it fell below the floorspace threshold applied by policy and had, in any event, satisfied the sequential retail assessment. The appeal was allowed.

Inspector: Roger Catchpole; Hearing

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