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Costa Coffee shops at 14 Gloucester Road and 123-125 Whiteladies Road, Bristol

DATE: 24 Jul 2012

This was a conjoined inquiry into appeals relating to two separate conversions of premises within primary retail frontages in Bristol city centre to mixed A1/A3 use as Costa Coffee shops. In the first case, Council Members had rejected an officer recommendation to grant planning permission for the change of use, and an enforcement notice was subsequently issued. The franchise holder, South West Coffee Ltd, appealed against both these decisions. In the second case, no planning permission had been sought or obtained for the conversion and the Council issued an enforcement notice, which was also subsequently appealed.

The issue in each case was whether the introduction of the mixed A1/A3 use, and in particular the substantial A3 element (which represented about 70% of sales at each premises), harmed the viability and vitality of the shopping areas in question by diluting its retail character to an unacceptable level, having regard to the existing A3 uses in the vicinity.

Charles Banner acted for Bristol City Council.