Tourism business use of historic canal basin denied

An inspector refused plans to expand a Norfolk village tea-room business into an adjacent canal basin through provision of additional outdoor seating on a moored boat and three narrowboats for holiday use.

The canal basin was identified in the conservation area appraisal as an attractive open area providing a focal point within the village and the inspector agreed with this assessment, giving significant weight to its openness. He held that the increased levels of commercial activity associated with the proposed mix of uses would change the tranquil character and appearance of this important and prominent part of the conservation area, concluding that this harm was not outweighed by the economic benefits of tourism development to the local village community.

On other issues the inspector also found harm to the setting of a listed wharf warehouse in the absence of assessment by the appellant of the importance of the warehouse or how the canal basin contributed to its setting, contrary to NPPF paragraph 189 and local plan policy. Irrespective of a finding of no harm to highway safety, ecology or neighbour living conditions, the inspector  dismissed the appeal on grounds of harm to heritage assets.

Inspector: Edwin Maund; Written representations

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