Timpson pod permitted at supermarket

An inspector found no evidence that a small retail pod outside an out of town Asda supermarket contravened a Warwickshire council's town centre first retail policy.

The appellant undertook a sequential test of alternative premises in town and local shopping centres but due to the small size of the unit, even with flexibility over floorspace, this revealed only one potential alternative in the town centre that had been identified by the council.

The inspector acknowledged that athough competition is not usually a component of sequential tests, use of an alternative town centre shop for the intended Timpson retailer was unlikely to be taken up by the business as it would be in direct competition with two existing Timpson town centre stores, even if sequentially preferable. Notwithstanding this, given the particularly small size of the proposed retail pod and its location based on taking advantage of existing supermarket footfall, the inspector was satisfied that there would be no discernible impact on the vitality of established retail centres in contravention of policy and allowed the appeal.

Inspector: Steven Rennie; Hearing

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