[To consider the planning application]
The Committee considered a report regarding 17/00971/FUL, Change of Use from D1 to A1, shop front alteration and relocation of staircase.
Mrs R. Kaur addressed the Committee and spoke in support of the application.
In answer to a question regarding the criteria to be met, Paul Lester, Planning Officer advised that there were four criteria which all had to be met under Policy CEN6. Those criteria included that it met a specific day to day need, local provision could not be better met by investment in a nearby centre, existing facilities that met day to day needs would not be undermined and that it had good accessibility. He advised, that whilst it might not undermine other businesses and it had good accessibility, nevertheless, it was still contrary to other parts of the Policy and could not be supported.
A number of Councillors suggested that the shop would not have a detrimental impact in its new location and there was likely to be less footfall compared to the previous use of the building as an advice centre. It would hopefully also reduce the problems with ASB associated with the current site. There had been no objections from local residents or statutory consultees. The area was thriving and would benefit from additional investment and the site was close to a bus stop and good arterial routes. If the application was for a new business that would be different; however, as this was for a relocation it was acceptable and should be encouraged.
A Councillor referred to a principle being established if the application was granted as other local centres also wished to extend. Significant numbers of people were on the housing list and this property could be returned to a dwelling which would be beneficial. It would be of interest to know if exceptions had previously been made and other properties had been converted.
Paul Lester, Planning Officer reminded Councillors that they should consider the merits of this planning application.
A Councillor stated that the Committee should be mindful of what its view would be if the application was for the location of a new shop in the building.
Several Councillors also expressed the view that it was important to note that the application did not comply with Policy.
In answer to a question regarding the use of the existing mobile phone premises if it was vacated, Paul Lester, Planning Officer confirmed that the existing premises would retain an A1 use and could still be operated as a shop. He advised that clarification could be provided to Councillors on previous exceptions along Dudley Road.
That planning application 17/00971/FUL be refused for the following reasons:
Detrimental to the amenities of residents of the adjoining terraced property. The proposal is therefore contrary to the Unitary Development Plan Policy EP5.