DC Casebook: Community facilities - Employment policy blocks church hall

The change of use of business premises in north London to a community resource centre has been declared unacceptable because it would undermine the council's employment objectives.

The appellants sought consent to use part of the ground floor as a main assembly hall for a church along with offices and storage. Staff involved in community projects would occupy the building. The council was concerned that 40 per cent of the space would be used as a hall, effectively rendering the site unavailable for employment use.

The site lay in a defined employment area and a strategic employment location and was suitable for continued business use, the inspector found. He agreed that many of the activities fell within the lawful employment use of the premises. However, he concluded that the majority of the space would become a class D1 non-residential institution and this would conflict with the council's adopted employment objectives.

DCS Number 100-064-425

Inspector Colin Cockshaw; Hearing

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