A MILKSHAKE bar in Ringwood has been allowed to continue trading after winning an appeal against New Forest District Council.

The council had turned down 4Zero proprietor Marianne Giles’ bid to change the use of the Southampton Road premises from class A1 (shop) to class A3 (food and drink) last September.

But planning inspector David Murray disagreed with officers’ refusal to grant a certificate of lawful use or development, and has given Mrs Giles the certificate she asked for.

Mr Murray, in his decision, said: “The council rejected the application mainly on the grounds that the appellant had not provided sufficient evidence of the previous or existing use, especially as the property appeared to be vacant at the time of the application. However, I note that in the application form the appellant had described the existing or last known use as a “flooring outlet” and the proposed use is described as a change of use from a shop.

“I also note from the council’s representations that there were applications refused in 2001, 2000 and 1994 for a change of use of a shop, and have copied an appeal decision made in 2001 where the inspector refers to the then existing shop. There is no evidence to suggest that this lawful use as a shop has been abandoned.”

He added: “I conclude, on the evidence now available, that the council’s refusal to grant a certificate of lawful use or development in respect of the change of use of the premises from A1 to A3 milkshake/smoothie bar/café was not well-founded and that the appeal should succeed.”