The site comprised a vacant and overgrown plot of land next to a bungalow and a large car park serving a garden and retail centre. The previous inspector had ruled that the site had a semi-rural character and concluded that the dwelling would have an urbanising effect. Since that time the garden and retail centre had been extended and the council had granted planning permission for further retail units and a hotel.
The second inspector noted that in granting planning permission for the extension to the retail centre, the council had accepted that it lay adjacent to a settlement and the appeal site lay next to it. He agreed that the character of the area had changed and considered that a single-storey restaurant would not have a harmful impact on the rural landscape.
He acknowledged that the site lay outside a town centre but noted that the council had supported the development of shops and food and drink outlets in the garden and retail centre, primarily for tourism and regeneration reasons. There was a qualitative and quantitative need for the development and no sequentially preferable sites were available, he ruled.
DCS Number 100-051-205
Inspector Mike Moore; Hearing.