“GPDO Part 3 Class M – Prior Approval Appeal Decisions” – 1 additional appeal decision (total = 77) …

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:

August 2017 - Code P3CM-077 (appeal allowed):

  • This appeal decision was assessed against the issues specified by paragraph M.2 as follows:
    - “transport and highways impacts” = acceptable (minimal assessment).
    - “contamination risks” = acceptable (minimal assessment).
    - “flooding risks” = acceptable (minimal assessment).
    - “impact of the change of use” = acceptable (detailed assessment).
    - “design or external appearance” = acceptable (minimal assessment).
  • This appeal decision provides an example of where it was concluded that the building was 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 comply with M.1(a)].
    [Quote: “The absence of a substantial road frontage and a shopfront would not inevitably preclude a retail use taking place. Many retail uses successfully operate without a shopfront, for example retail enterprises located above or at the rear of other businesses with a road frontage. Therefore, whilst I accept that the extension could have been used for storage with ancillary sales outside of Class A1, in the absence of any firm evidence to that effect it remains little more than a possibility. The Council criticised the Statutory Declarations as not being impartial. Nevertheless, they were provided by the appellant and the other persons in the best position to give an accurate account of the use of the extension. The appellant’s evidence is precise and unambiguous. The Council has not produced any firm evidence of its own concerning how the extension was last used, which might have suggested that the appellant’s evidence was less than probable. Consequently, I have to give the appellant’s evidence substantial weight. Therefore, I find that on the basis of the evidence before me and on the balance of probability, the extension was last used as a shop within Class A1. Accordingly, the proposal would comply with limitation M.1 (a) (ii).”].
  • 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 adequate provision of services (albeit only where there is a reasonable prospect of the building being used to provide such services) and concluded that this would be acceptable.
    [Note: The proposed conversion would result in a new smaller retail (etc) unit].
    [Quote: “I acknowledge that no details of any attempts to let or sell the extension as a shop have been supplied by the appellant. However, the available evidence suggests that the extension been has been vacant for almost twelve years. As he would have wished to maximise his income, it is unlikely that the appellant would have kept the extension vacant for that period of time, if there were any retail businesses actually interested in letting it. I understand that “St Johns Pine” was able to operate from the extension as it sold high priced items which meant that a high turnover of stock was unnecessary to achieve a profit. It is unlikely that many other retail operators would have a similar business model. The ‘backland’ position of the extension is also likely to significantly limit its attractiveness to retail users, compared with frontage properties. Also, in my experience there has been a progressive decline nationally over the past decade in the number of retail uses found in more peripheral parts of shopping areas, similar to that in which the extension is located. To my mind, all of these factors cast substantial doubt on whether there would be a reasonable prospect of the extension being used to provide a shop in the future. Moreover, the extension is not within a protected shopping frontage or area. The Council have not supplied any evidence to suggest that there is an identified shortage of retail floorspace in the locality or in the Borough in general. Consequently, there is little information before me to suggest that the proposal would have a harmful impact on the adequate provision of retail uses.”].
  • This appeal decision provides an example of where the Inspector, when granting prior approval, decided that a particular condition (or s106 agreement) should be imposed.
    [Note: Conditions requiring the development to be completed within 3 years, and requiring compliance with the approved drawings].


  • 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).