DC Casebook: Commercial and industrial - Showroom held to help rural economy

The refurbishment and extension of a vehicle showroom in a New Forest conservation area has been allowed after an inspector found that it would preserve the area's character and appearance and support economic development.

The inspector considered that the proposal would be sensitive to its setting. Although the scheme's appearance would be modern, he did not think that it would appear as incongruous as the existing buildings. He opined that the use was a low-key business in terms of activity. An increase in staff by up to six and traffic movements by about 22 would not significantly compromise the rural character of the immediate area or the New Forest as a whole, he held.

He agreed that the provision of an up-to-date and convenient workshop facility would result in a more efficient operation and would help safeguard the future of the business. PPS7 advises that support should be given to a wide range of economic activity in rural areas, he commented. Although he could only give limited weight to the draft PPS4 because of its status, he also remarked that it calls for a positive and constructive approach towards proposals for economic development.

DCS Number 100-058-335

Inspector David Hogger; Hearing.

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