Cllr Kenny said it would not set a precedent as each application would be decided on its merits. Cllr Kelly said he was not overly convinced that a loss of a small unit would be harmful to employment prospects. He asked for advice regarding reasons for approval and said it had been better in Claughton as there had been evidence of marketing. He said he had sympathy with the ward councillor.
An officer referred to the second paragraph of the Policy Context part of the report. He said they should be careful about releasing land designated by the UDP without proper justification.
Cllr Gilchrist said it wouldn’t be that attractive as a commercial property. Cllr Johnson said that it would enhance the street scene and that they were halfway there as there was living accommodation upstairs.
Cllr Salter said that when had been a lad it was a shop and that the upstairs had always been residential. An officer said that approval of item ten had been after evidence had been supplied that it had been marketed for commercial uses. The applicant for item ten had followed the correct process. He said approving would cause officer’s difficulties. Cllr Harney asked if the residential use predates the planning laws. The answer given was that a well established use becomes established.
Cllr Mitchell said it should be deferred for further information, so proof could be obtained regarding the ward councillor’s comments. Officers had asked twice but the information was not forthcoming.
Cllr Kenny was convinced it should be approved. Cllr Realey seconded approval. Cllr Gilchrist seconded Cllr Mitchell’s motion to defer the matter.
Eight councillors voted for approval with four against. There was a condition added that it had to be implemented within three years which was agreed by all. The Chair thanked people for coming.