CASEBOOK: Appeal cases - Food and drink uses - Restaurant held to erode strategic employment site

An inspector has refused to sanction the construction of a drive-through restaurant at a business park in Lancashire, rejecting arguments by the appellants that it would stimulate further development and add to the economic vibrancy of the area.

The site lay next to a roundabout that gave access into the business park. The inspector concluded that this made the appeal site a "prime location within a prime location". While accepting that the construction of a restaurant would give the impression of further development proceeding, he felt that it would exacerbate the impression already created by non-employment uses.

In particular, the inspector noted that the park contained a fitness centre, hotel and restaurant and that only 14 per cent of the built floorspace was in class B1 business use. Since the appeal site had a pivotal role to play in encouraging employment uses onto the site, he judged that its loss would undermine this central development plan objective.

DCS No: 37844173; Inspector: Mike Croft; Hearing.

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