Furniture shop can stay for now

A LANCING company is to be allowed to continue trading without permission.

The Recycled Goods Factory has been selling furniture from a warehouse in Chartwell Road for more than a year.

The Lancing Business Park unit is intended for light industrial (B1) use, so planning permission is needed to run as a shop (A1).

However, Adur planning committee decided on Monday to take no action at this time, as it was better to have the unit in use rather than empty.

James Appleton, executive head of planning, said there had been some concern over the demand for B1 employment use.

“The key issue is whether it would be expedient to take enforcement action,” he added.

Cllr Ben Stride raised concerns that allowing it to continue would mean the A1 use becoming lawful, but Mr Appleton said it would need to be run as a shop for 10 years for that to happen.

Mr Appleton added: “It is not something that we want to encourage. We would not want to lose this unit for employment use.”

He pointed out current planning policies, which dated back to 1996, did not seek to protect the B1 condition.

“We are keen to address that in the emerging Adur Local Plan, which will set out a clear set of policies,” he added.”

Cllr Emma Evans asked whether a time limit could be put on it and chairman Brian Boggis agreed.

He said: “It is true there is a number of mixed uses. What we don’t want to do is to encourage the area to have empty places.”

The committee agreed not to serve a planning enforcement notice but to continue to monitor the situation and review the decision in six months.