Casebook: Appeal cases - Mixed use development. Antique sales operation accepted in factory

Continued use of a factory in Leicestershire for the display and restoration of antiques has been approved despite council argument that the operation should be located in a town centre.

The building offered trade dealers their own display areas but all sales were handled through a central point, with purchasers having to pre-register.

A 500 sq m portion of the premises was used by repairers and restorers and the appellant had established a cafe for visitors.

The inspector decided that the use was sui generis, neither falling solely within the definition of a shop or a wholesale warehouse. With this in mind, he decided that the use would be out of character in a town centre if it occupied retail premises of similar size to a small department store or supermarket.

He accepted that there seemed little prospect of attracting an industrial or storage and distribution use to the premises. He concluded that permission should be granted subject to conditions limiting the extent of the cafe use and preventing access by the general public.

DCS No: 36872979; Inspector: Peter Watson; Hearing.

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