Help with a commercial planning objection

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  • Help with a commercial planning objection
  • The small Northern mill town we live in has a disused small supermarket building, an application was received to convert it to an Asian wedding venue.
    A local residents association was formed to object along with local businesses on the grounds that the initial large number of visitors quoted attending would swamp the small carpark and overspill into the small residential side streets plus a few other minor issues.
    It was wholly rejected by local planning and by the independent planning inspector.

    The applicant has recently resubmitted an application but has drastically reduced its visitor numbers which was the main refusal by the independent planning inspector.

    The applicant has a similar business in Oldham which has generated a large number of complaints from local residents of blocked streets from over spilled car parking, fireworks, noise and general disruption and inconsideration for the neighbours and residents. The business openly advertises weddings with capacity far above their agreed amount so we know that the reapplied reduced numbers is a fudge to get it past planning and that once open the venue will be run at far above capacity.

    Anyone have any ideas to help with an objection? We aren’t against development of the building into something that would bring local jobs and business rates to the council but this isn’t it

    wrightyson
    Member

    Fire officer?

    poolman
    Member

    The 2 local planning issues I have had to respond to we were advised to respond individually with the key points. Apparently lots of private individual responses have a stronger voice than 1 residents body.

    We got the planning overturned, it was an ambitious 14 storey residential block in a quiet residential area. I know, nimbyism….but access was poor and it would hve set a precedent for the area.

    Also be aware your responses are published for everyone to see.

    Good luck,

    tjagain
    Member

    Why the emphasis on Asian? sounds bit nimby / racist to me. Would it be OK if it was anglo saxon weddings?

    wrightyson
    Member

    Because it’s for Asian weddings! And to be fair have you ever been to an Asian wedding? They literally invite everyone from the mother in law to the bloke who once found the dog after it was lost on a park 6 years ago!

    We’re not bothered what it’s used for – the main issue is large numbers of cars arriving and departing at once. The former (small) supermarket building has the internal capacity but only a small car park for a continual stream of supermarket users.

    The number of people per car has also been fudged throughout the application steps, it’s now up to 5 people per car which we know is just not going to happen.

    It’s basically that every objection has been countered by fudged figures and that once it’s passed planning and opens that these figures go out of the window to the detriment of local residents as has happened with his other location.

    submarined
    Member

    Why the emphasis on Asian? sounds bit nimby / racist to me. Would it be OK if it was anglo saxon weddings?

    Because culturally, Asian weddings often have ~1000 people invited, as opposed to the hundred or so you more commonly get for Catholic/Christian/non religious etc weddings in the UK. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the bride’s parents neighbors from 30 years ago’s children are often invited. My mate estimated she had no idea who 70% of the people at hers were, and 20% she only vaguely recognised.

    I’m a die hard lentil knitting liberal, but even I can see where the op is coming from. I’d have to be being deliberately argumentative to appear to not get his point.

    scud
    Member

    The last wedding i went to like that, and don’t get me wrong it was a great day and they must have spent a fortune, was for an Asian colleague i’d been friends with when i worked at the same law firm with her…. she had left 6 years prior!

    avdave2
    Member

    Why the emphasis on Asian? sounds bit nimby / racist to me

    I assume tj you are questioning the racism of having a venue just for Asian weddings, I agree with you, to exclude others is racist, everyone should be able to get married there.

    scruff9252
    Member

    “Because it’s for Asian weddings! And to be fair have you ever been to an Asian wedding? They literally invite everyone from the mother in law to the bloke who once found the dog after it was lost on a park 6 years ago!”

    I was at a sikh/scottish fusion wedding and it was brilliant, one of the best wedding’s I’ve had the pleasure to go to.

    Going by the amount of money lavished on these weddings it could be seen to be a good thing for the local area – dj’s, flowers, decorating, food etc. Learn to play the bangra drums and you could make a mint.

    andykirk
    Member

    tjagain – yours is the kind of post that makes me wince.

    Jakester
    Member

    We had this exact thing a few years ago when we lived in Brum. An old/derelict cinema with space for about 15 cars out the front. After the first objections the applicant changed the emphasis of the application from weddings to ‘banqueting’ and suggested everyone would be bussed in on two coaches.

    Planners didn’t even give those arguments the time of day and it was rejected because of the severe traffic issues it would have caused.

    I would simply base your objection on the access and egress issues as that seems to be something the planners are pretty hot on, rather than the actual usage.

    scuttler
    Member

    Form an objection committee and lead it with professional advice from someone that knows the planning system, the principal areas for objection for shooting down the application and any subsequent refinements/appeals. This guy is a friend of mine and may be able to help. He’s also from Oldham and now based in Holmfirth so not a million miles away – https://www.ricsfirms.com/office/627158/Robert-Halstead—Chartered-Surveyors-and-Town-Planners

    Going by the amount of money lavished on these weddings it could be seen to be a good thing for the local area – dj’s, flowers, decorating, food etc. Learn to play the bangra drums and you could make a mint.

    They have their own catering company and contacts that are supplying their other existing venue. There is no local job creation or money being spent locally.

    Premier Icon Greybeard
    Subscriber

    Planners must take account of the Local Plan, or whatever the relevant policy is in your area. Base you objections on the official policies, not on common sense, otherwise they will be dismissed as non-material.

    If you can’t get it rejected, try to get conditions attached that will limit the traffic issues; if the conditions are breached you can then ask for enforcement action. The problem is that restricting the number of vehicles parked in public areas isn’t practical, because it would be impossible to prove which were connected with the premises, so restricting the number of people attending might be the only enforceable condition. We objected to a development on the grounds that people would park dangerously, with evidence from existing use that they would park on the double yellows. The planners dismissed that, on the basis that it was somebody else’s job to stop them parking there.

    Check how planning approvals are done as it varies; is it by council committee, can it be delegated to the planning officers, can residents speak at meetings, can a Parish or Town Council object?

    revs1972
    Member

    There was an Asian wedding the day after my friend was married at the same venue oop north in the mid 90’s. The car park looked like a Nissan Stanza dealership by 11am 😂

    Objections need to be made based on the local planning law, things like ‘it won’t create jobs’ won’t work and will be thrown out. Multiple letters from a veriaty of people in the area are better than one, however the format of those letters can be the same, your better having one letter based on law than multiple ramblings from numerous nimbys. Personally I would attack the change of use its self first and formost by the sound of it.

    The building is going from a retail A1 to (at a guess) A3 food and drink? Are there may other similar shops in the area? You could argue that the supermarket is essential to the town. That would be your best bet, but wouldn’t work if you have another similar supermarket shop / retailer in the village.

    Things like parking won’t necessarily stop the application going through as this can be worked around by the applicant.

    Get as many people as poss to speak to the parish council and get your points of view over to them.

    Has the disused supermarket been unused for some time?

    shindiggy
    Member

    We had this exact thing a few years ago when we lived in Brum. An old/derelict cinema with space for about 15 cars out the front. After the first objections the applicant changed the emphasis of the application from weddings to ‘banqueting’ and suggested everyone would be bussed in on two coaches.

    Planners didn’t even give those arguments the time of day and it was rejected because of the severe traffic issues it would have caused.

    I would simply base your objection on the access and egress issues as that seems to be something the planners are pretty hot on, rather than the actual usage.

    You used to live in Great Barr and i claim my £5. Same thing happened here to a local cinema, the traffic disruption and the general attitude of the guest is appalling.

    The building has been unused for a few years now. There are other supermarkets in the town.

    The application has been rejected once – the galling thing at this moment is that looks like he can effectively keep fudging/reducing the figures until they are low enough to pass planning. We know the rent and business rates on the building and know it has to be packed to capacity to be viable for him.

    🤔 Any flats or residential in the direct area,? Ie over or attached to the building

    Jakester
    Member

    You used to live in Great Barr and i claim my £5.

    £5 please. Kings Heath. 😉

    I know where you mean though, used to pass it on the way to my grandparents in Perry Bar.

    Any flats or residential in the direct area,? Ie over or attached to the building

    No – the building is self contained, the housing is in two small streets opposite and a row of terraces that back onto a proposed car park for the venue

    sync
    Member

    What is the planning reference number and which planning authority is it?

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