Casebook: Appeal cases - Retail Development - Difficulties identified in defining Sunday market

In quashing an enforcement notice and allowing an appeal for the continued use of land on a former RAF base in south Wales as a Sunday market, an inspector has acknowledged the difficulty associated with defining the precise nature of the development in terms of local and national retail policies.

The site had been granted temporary permissions stretching over 14 years and car boot sales were also held in connection with the market. The council opposed a further temporary five-year permission on the basis that it conflicted with retail policies that favoured locating development in or adjacent to existing centres.

The market had been operating for many years and the inspector questioned whether the appeal involved development in the terms of adopted policies.

There was no firm evidence that the market had adversely affected the vitality and viability of nearby town centres, he held. Although other sites had been examined, these were capable of accommodating only a small proportion of the retail activities on the appeal site, he observed.

The inspector acknowledged that permitting retail activity in open countryside away from settlements might not be a sustainable form of development and the market and car boot sales had an element of recreational activity associated with them. He noted that car boot sales would continue in any event so there would be no significant additional journeys to attend the Sunday market.

DCS No: 30692385; Inspector: Stuart Wild; Inquiry.

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