Planning inspector quashes Wiltshire Council enforcement notice
Caffè Nero will remain in Marlborough High Street after winning its planning appeal.
Planning inspector Phil Grainger has quashed an enforcement notice issued by Wiltshire Council against the coffee giant meaning the multi-national company can continue to trade from 21-22 High Street.
He reached this decision after a two day public hearing at Marlborough town hall which concluded on February 7.
In an 11-page report he explained that no evidence given during the hearing could lead him to the conclusion that Nero’s presence in the High Street has damaged the vitality and viability of Marlborough.
He stated: “Although I do not condone breaches of planning control, the fact that the coffee shop has now been open for about nine months means that there has been the opportunity for harmful effects to have occurred and been noticed.
“Even if this period is too short for shops to have closed and vacancy rates gone up on the periphery of the centre (or elsewhere), I would have expected businesses to have noticed a reduction in customers or trade if there had been a serious effect.
“Furthermore, if they did not wish to make their individual position known in a public forum it would have been open to them to put forward views through the local Chamber of Commerce or similar body.
"Whilst individuality is a factor to take into account, there are no planning policies in place to protect it directly and insofar as it relates to the type and nature of the retail offer it is not easy to see how this could be done.”
Caffè Nero moved into 21-22 High Street on March 24, days after submitting a change of use application, although the firm did not begin trading until April 30.
The company has now won 17 ou t of 18 planning appeals.