Estate agency denied move to shopping centre

PUBLISHED: 12:02 27 April 2007 | UPDATED: 22:46 28 May 2010

BROAD Street, March, has been declared a no-go area for an estate agency which wanted to move into an empty shop. Fenland planners refused an application by Harrison Murray to move into a former clothes store at 39 Broad Street. The company said its lease

BROAD Street, March, has been declared a no-go area for an estate agency which wanted to move into an empty shop.

Fenland planners refused an application by Harrison Murray to move into a former clothes store at 39 Broad Street.

The company said its lease on Hill House in the Market Place expires next year "and there is concern as to the structural soundness of the building".

Company spokesman Geoffrey Moss told Fenland District Council that the Market Place building had "clear evidence of subsidence".

But his plea to move to Broad Street, adjoining Norwich and Peterborough Building Society and Bakers' Oven, has been rejected.

Nigel Brown, the council's development manager, said such a move would be against town centre planning policies.

"It would detrimentally affect the vitality and viability of March town centre," he told the company.

Mr Moss said this was the only issue to be decided by the council, and Harrison Murray felt it would "not materially conflict" with existing policies. He argued that the premises formed part of a long centre of commercial properties and that its limited frontage would not make the premises unreasonably prominent.

And given the size of the premises and its limited frontage, Mr Moss did not believe the proposal would affect the town centre's viability.

"As estate agent's premises it is likely to generate a considerable amount of footfall during shopping hours, with the possibility of linked trips, and will incorporate window displays," he said. "In this respects it compares well to a shop.

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