The "GPDO Part 3 Class M - Prior Approval Appeal Decisions" document has been updated to include 1 additional appeal decision relating to retail-(etc)-to-residential conversions, for which the conclusions are as follows:
December 2016 - Code P3CM-062 (appeal dismissed):
- This appeal decision was assessed against the issues specified by paragraph M.2 as follows:
- “transport and highways impacts” = no assessment.
- “contamination risks” = no assessment.
- “flooding risks” = no assessment.
- “impact of the change of use” = acceptable (short assessment).
- “design or external appearance” = no assessment.
- This appeal decision provides an example of where it was concluded that the building was not used as retail (etc) on 20/03/2013 or (if not in use on that date) when it was last in use. [Note: In other words, the proposed development would not comply with M.1(a)].
[Quote: “The appellants have confirmed that the ground floor was still vacant up until September 2014 when the last known use, the coffee shop and deli, was in operation. This last use apparently ceased in March 2016. The evidence available to me on site such as the layout of the interior and the signage on the outside would appear to corroborate this last known use. Therefore, at the time that the application was being considered, and at the present time, the ground floor was last used as a coffee shop and deli, and whilst there is limited evidence to clarify the precise nature of the operation, this was likely either A3 (restaurant/café), A5 (hot food takeaway) or a form of mixed use. I have not been presented with any compelling evidence to confirm, on the balance of probability, that the building was in use on 20th March 2013, specifically as one of the uses referred to in Class M. Whilst it may have been in use as one prior, and possibly for some time, Class M explicitly states that in the case of a building which was in use before that date but was not in use on that date, when it was last in use. It is clear from the evidence that the last use of the building was as a coffee shop and deli which is not one of the uses referred to in Class M. Consequently the provision for a change of use to C3 (dwellinghouse) under this class would not apply. An application for express planning permission for the change of use is therefore required.”].
- This appeal decision provides an example of where the Inspector, when considering issue M.2(1)(d), assessed the impact of the change of use on the sustainability of a key shopping area and concluded that this would be acceptable.
[Quote: “Station Rise no doubt plays a part in the sustainability of the West Norwood District Centre as a whole. Nevertheless, sustainability of district shopping centres relies as much on the retention of retail uses as diversity with other non-retail uses. In this case the matter of balance is important. I note that, historically, some retail units and thus previously active frontages have been lost to changes of use on Station Rise. The proposed development would involve another. This would not however ‘tip the balance’ of uses as a whole, particularly when considered in the context of the range and number of other commercial uses that occupy either side of Station Rise. As such, I do not find that that the proposed change of use, whilst resulting in the loss of an active frontage, would materially diminish the commercial offer within the West Norwood District Centre nor consequently cause harm to the sustainability of it.”].
- To view the conclusions, full summaries, and decision notices for any of the above appeals, please view the "GPDO Part 3 Class M - Prior Approval Appeal Decisions" document. As a member of the Planning Jungle website, you can view the decision notices for all of the appeals on the website for no extra cost.
- Any of the above conclusions marked with a "(*)" contradict other appeal decisions. The "Reference Section" within the above document indicates how many appeals have supported and contradicted each particular conclusion.
- The above document also includes 2 "Potential fallback position" appeals, which are NOT summarised (only listed).