“GPDO Part 3 Class O – Prior Approval Appeal Decisions” – 3 additional appeal decisions (total = 292) …

The "GPDO Part 3 Class O - Prior Approval Appeal Decisions" document has been updated to include 3 additional appeal decisions relating to office-to-residential conversions, for which the conclusions are as follows:

February 2019 - Code P3CO-292 (appeal dismissed):

  • This appeal decision was assessed against the issues specified by paragraph O.2 as follows:
    - “transport and highways impacts” = acceptable (minimal assessment).
    - “contamination risks” = acceptable (minimal assessment).
    - “flooding risks” = acceptable (minimal assessment).
    - “impacts of noise” = unacceptable (detailed assessment).
  • This appeal decision provides an example of where the Inspector, when considering the “impacts of noise from commercial premises on the intended occupiers of the development”, assessed the amenity of occupiers of the resulting residential unit(s) and concluded that this would be unacceptable.
    [Quote: “However, critically in my view, the NA [Noise Assessment] says that the measurement of internal noise levels was made with the windows of the building closed. The NA concludes that daytime and night-time noise limits could be met on that basis. The acknowledgement of the need to keep windows closed to meet acceptable internal noise limits during the day and night is testament to the fundamentally noisy environment of an industrial area with a concentration of commercial premises likely to emit noise. Given this fact, I note that there is no suggestion in the NA of any measures of mitigation, such as mechanical ventilation. However, at this particular location with its range of industrial noise sources, that would not sufficiently overcome the likely harm, as windows would still need to be kept closed to avoid exposure to noise exceeding reasonable levels. I am of the view that the surrounding environmental conditions would not be conducive to allow future occupiers of the proposed residential development the ability to open windows normally should they wish, especially during warmer weather. [...] Therefore, mindful of relevant advice in the Framework and the expectation of a good standard of amenity for future occupiers, placing residential development within this part of this industrial area, where it would be vulnerable to various sources of noise and disturbance, would be unacceptable. Whilst an office block may be hermetically sealed and reliant on artificial ventilation systems, it seems to me that residential occupiers, living at first floor of a two storey building, would reasonably expect to be able to open their windows during fine weather without being subjected to noise levels in excess of suggested limits.”].
  • This appeal decision provides an example of where the Inspector, when considering the “impacts of noise from commercial premises on the intended occupiers of the development”, assessed whether the proposed development would result in unreasonable restrictions being placed on existing businesses and concluded that this would be unacceptable. (*)
    [Quote: “The effects of the proposal on existing businesses that are sources of noise in the area should also be considered. This issue has been raised by various businesses operating from premises close to the appeal site on Creekmouth Industrial Estate, which in some instances operate 24 hours a day. Generally, their comments relate to noise generated by their operation, through the use of machinery, vehicle movements, etc. Some also advised that trade could be potentially affected if complaints from future residents were received about noise in the area. It is no defence under nuisance proceedings that the complainant came to the nuisance, which could leave such premises open to enforcement action by the Council, even though licensing may regulate some activities. That factor would also be relevant to other existing commercial operations on the estate which produce significant noise. The issue is acknowledged in paragraph 182 of the Framework, which advises that planning policies and decisions should ensure that existing businesses and facilities should not have unreasonable restrictions placed on them as a result of development permitted after they were established. Given the prevalence of commercial premises in the area, many generating noise, there is a realistic prospect that such complaints would arise, especially if future residential occupiers wished to open their windows. That aspect also weighs against the proposal.”].
  • This appeal decision states, or implies, that the successful completion of the prior approval process is not legally equivalent to confirmation that the proposed development would be lawful (i.e. confirmation that it would comply with all of the other limitations and conditions of Part 3 Class O). (*)
    [Note: The Inspector dismissed the appeal regardless of the claim that the Council failed to issue a decision within 56 days].
    [Quote: “The appellant has questioned whether the Council determined the application within the 56 day timescale set out within the GPDO. However, as I have found that the proposal subject of the current appeal would not be permitted development, the question of whether permission could be deemed to be granted in relation to the 56 day timescale is not applicable.”].

February 2019 - Code P3CO-291 (appeal allowed):

  • [Note: To view these conclusions, please log onto the website as a member].

February 2019 - Code P3CO-290 (appeal dismissed):

  • [Note: To view these conclusions, please log onto the website as a member].


  • To view the conclusions, full summaries, and decision notices for any of the above appeals, please view the "GPDO Part 3 Class O - 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 33 "Potential fallback position" appeals, which are NOT summarised (only listed).