Why bother with planning rules?

PUBLISHED: 18:21 07 May 2008 | UPDATED: 21:29 26 October 2009

SIR – I read with interest your article Street full of charity shops and banks! (Potters Bar Edition, April 23) and agree with you. I have been appalled that recently a freeholder in Darkes Lane who asked, and actually paid a large sum of money to move

SIR - I read with interest your article "Street full of charity shops and banks!" (Potters Bar Edition, April 23) and agree with you.

I have been appalled that recently a freeholder in Darkes Lane who asked, and actually paid a large sum of money to move, a long standing A1 tenant to move a few doors away in Darkes Lane.

But once the tenant moved out he had trouble letting this shop and decided that the best way forward would be to apply for office use, A2, on this unit as he had an estate agent who wanted the unit.

The reason they gave to the planning department was that they could not let this unit to A1 - ordinary shop-use - since the last tenant moved out.

This was turned down by planning as it contravened planning rules, more than two A2 units in a run of six. About eight months later they applied again giving the same reason, planning turned it down yet again as there were two empty A2 units either side of this.

But it was taken to appeal. The secretary of state decided that although it might contravene planning they did not feel that there are too many A2 units in Darkes Lane. Now there are five out of 10!

It seems the Government say they want to help local shopping areas but here we find they are overruling local planning.

What is the point of having local planning laws if the secretary of state does what they want.

Andrew Ancell, director, Hobdays Estates, Darkes Lane Potters Bar.


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