Opposition to Money Shop in Wisbech crumbles as council admits ‘no negative feedback’

OPPOSITION to the opening of a pay day loan and cheque cashing shop in the centre of Wisbech has crumbled, says a report to Fenland planners.

The district council planning committee will be told next Wednesday that “no negative feedback has been received in response to this application.”

It means The Money Shop at 13 Market Place – refused permission in December- is likely to receive approval at its second time of asking.

The company opened before obtaining change of use consent; a petition and opposition locally led to the first application being refused.

Now, however, planning officials have told councillors, and in no uncertain terms, that there is nothing in law to prevent the change of use.

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Officials say the site has been used as a bakery, boutique, and estate agency. When councillors voted in December to oppose the change of use it was partly on the ground of its impact on the vitality and viability of the town centre.

“The application was partly retrospective at the time and the works have now been completed rendering this application fully retrospective,” says the report.

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Besides, says the report, whether an application is retrospective is not a material planning consideration.

The report also refers to those concerns “expressed about the moral issues surrounding the change of use and the effect of this type of service on more vulnerable members of the community.

“Whilst these concerns are acknowledged, significant weight cannot be attached to them. It has been established in case law that the concern must be related to the use and development of land.

“The planning authority has no paternalistic jurisdiction over developers or applicants.”

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