Agenda item

APPLICATION NO.C2017/77955 - 80 Westmead Road, Sutton, SM1 4JF

Change of use from Estate Agents (A2) to Tattoo Parlour.


The Committee considered a report on the above application to the change of use from Estate Agents (A2) to a Tattoo Parlour (Sui Generis).


The application had been de-delegated by Councillor Jill Whitehead.


Members enquired about reference being made to a previous application being refused and the number of treatment beds and expected customers.


Officers informed the Committee that the planning history had been checked and there were no references to any other tattoo parlour applications being refused with the exception of an invalid application that was never made valid. Officers also informed the Committee that the tattoo parlour would only be operating by appointment only.


Mr Patel, son of the land-owner and supporter addressed the meeting under Standing Order 31 and the applicant replied.


The principal issues raised by Mr Patel were: -


  • The shop is owned by his father, who previously operated a Post Office in the area, but it had since been leased on and off to various types of businesses.
  • A number of these businesses had gone bust and not paid rent over a period of time.
  • The applicant is the first person to present a viable business plan.
  • The business will not affect parking in the area and it is by appointment only.


Members enquired about the neighbouring shops and whether or not they were vacant.


Mr Patel confirmed that the shops were currently vacant.


The principal issues raised by Councillor Chris Williams were: -


  • Councillor Jill Whitehead de-delegated the application as local councillors and residents were concerned that this business is not appropriate for a largely residential location.
  • It is believed that the application is inappropriate as a tattoo parlour would not provide the kind of retail business that local residents would find useful and valued.
  • The strategic objectives of the local plan include matching the resident expectations, the boroughs parade have a good range of high quality shops.
  • The local area already has a range of businesses that serve local need.
  • The area also has poor public transport links and car parking particularly in residential roads off Westmead Road are problematic.
  • Residents have expressed to support retail outlets that can be reached by the local community on foot.
  • Concerns have been expressed about the tattoo parlour increasing the demand for parking as the clientele will more than likely come from a wider area.


Members enquired about the difficulties of letting the unit in the past and whether or not there would be parking implications or differences between areas in the borough that already had existing tattoo parlours.


Councillor Williams informed the Committee that he was reporting fact that the tattoo parlour would increase the demand for parking in the area and these were concerns expressed by local residents in the immediate area and there are vacant properties in the area, but the majority of shops are occupied and are thriving. He also said that he had no knowledge about the clientele of a tattoo parlour and didn’t think it was relevant, but was keen on meeting the objectives of the local plan.


The principal issues raised by the Applicant, Mr Giles were: -


  • Been a tattoo artist for over 35 years.
  • First registered in Sutton in the 1980s.
  • 58 years old and married and love in the area.
  • Spent most of his life-savings on shop to make it clean and tidy and replace the electrics and new flooring, air conditioning and heating and to decorate the shop.
  • Good reputation in the area and wanted to open a shop in the area again.
  • Spent up to £6,000 of savings
  • Tattoo studio would not contribute to parking issues in the area.
  • Only operate by appointment with up to 2 hours duration for an appointment.
  • Introduced to other shop owners and everyone seems to be fine.
  • Already in a contract for the shop and paying rent but unable to open it.


Members enquired about the type of clients that would be attending the tattoo parlour and if the premises were ready to be opened.


Mr Giles informed the Committee that he had previous clients from Barclays and Harrods and that clients would come from all walks of life. He also confirmed that there would only be one client at a time, as he was only able to work on one person at a time as he will not be employing anyone else and he also suffers from arthritis and would be proposing to be open from 11am - 6pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays. The shop has been halted for over 12 weeks.


Head of Planning, Andy Webber informed the Committee that the de-delegation rules are in the Constitution in terms of Scheme of Delegation and the Chair cannot overrule the Constitution. Officers should have contacted Councillor Whitehead about the de-delegation, and Officers normally encourage Councillors to contact planning officers to discuss the grounds for the de-delegation to see if it could be resolved.

A poll vote on the officer's’ recommendation to grant permission was held in accordance with Standing Order 31.4, when there voted:

To Grant         (10) - Councillors Bourne, Burke, Court, Galligan, McManus,         

                               Pollock, Reynolds, Sadiq, Shields and Whitham.

Against          (0)

Abstained      (0)     
Resolved: That planning permission be granted for Application No.C2017/77955 subject to the conditions, reasons and informatives as set out in the Planning Schedule for this application.

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