Loss of London flat resisted

Retention of B1 business use over the upper floors of an end of terrace property adjacent to a London business park was rejected by an inspector after finding conflict with policy aimed at preventing loss of homes.

The upper three floors of the four-storey building accommodated a number of small businesses but had formerly comprised a three or four bedroom flat. The change of use ran counter to council policy seeking to safeguard existing housing stock in the borough.

The appellant’s case centred on a claimed demand and unmet need for hubs to accommodate small creative businesses, but the inspector found this claim unsupported by any evidence or mechanism to prevent unrestricted B1 use. He also did not consider access to the appeal property from the main road into the business park or poor outlook of the private courtyard over the business park rendered its use as a dwelling unacceptable. He concluded the appeal should be dismissed.

Inspector: Martin Small; Written representations

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