Business premises can be turned into a home, say planners

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A wood clad business and warehousing building with space for more than 20 staff could be turned into a home if planners give the go-ahead.

Upper Barn, at Upper Sheriff Farm in Hammingden Lane, Ardingly, is in the Countryside Area of Development Restraint and the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The premises were first marketed for business use in September 2011 when they were being built. The rent has been reduced but they have remained empty. Now district planners are being asked to sanction their change of use to residential.

A report to tonight’s (Thursday) planning committee says letters of representation received cover issues such as the applicant always wanting a house on the site and that the change would remove an employment opportunity.

The report also says West Hoathly Parish Council thought insufficient time or effort had been put into trying to let the property for business purposes and it objected to change of use to residential.

The report points out that MSDC would lose net business rates of £14,000 a year. However, officers also say that the business use is not viable and the changes are acceptable.