Not so long ago we reported an appeal case in which an inspector ruled that a restaurant was a community facility (High on the hog). In that case (DCS Number 400-022-010) the inspector decided that the loss of the restaurant to residential use “…would have a harmful impact on the ability of the community to meet its day to day needs.”
In a more recent case, however, an inspector has ruled that a restaurant is not a community facility (DCS Number 400-023-094). In this case the inspector allowed the residential conversion of a restaurant, finding that it would not harm the provision of community facilities. The council compared the restaurant to a public house, in that it provided a social space with eating and drinking facilities to serve the community. The inspector recognised that certain uses and venues are important for local communities to meet, socialise and interact. He considered, however, that although restaurants provide opportunities to meet and socialise, they do not fulfil this function as a public house might, as they tend to be arranged in a formal manner. Restaurants also do not provide access to services or facilities required for day-to-day living, he declared.
Section 4.1444 of DCP Online concerns the loss of community uses.