Our recent appeal success has secured retrospective planning permission for a popular restaurant in West London.
The original application which sought to change the use of an A1 shop to an A3 restaurant had been refused by the local council on the grounds that:
- It would result in further loss of a Class A1 use within an area where this use class is protected;
- It is contrary to local policy which has a specific restriction on the amount of frontage which can be dedicated to food and drink uses;
- The proposed change of use would undermine the vitality and viability of the area;
- The council did not wish to set a precedent.
We were approached to assist with the appeal.
A careful review of local policy and the decision notice highlighted a number of flaws with the council’s approach including:
- That the appeal site is located outside of the policy protected prime area for A1 uses;
- The policy acknowledges that change of use to other A use classes may be permitted outside the prime A1 area, provided a number of tests are met.
We undertook the necessary surveys to determine the health of the area and consider the accuracy of the council’s claims in the decision notice. This identified that current percentages of A1 and A3 uses were well within the policy allowances and there was no evidence of over intensification.
We also looked at policy within the emerging local plan which was at an advanced stage and, as such, the policy document held some weight. It was particularly pertinent in this case as it indicated a change in the Council’s management of retail frontages with a greater flexibility proposed to support more Class A3 uses within the primary frontage.
We successfully demonstrated that the proposed continuation of the existing unit as a restaurant was fully in accordance with the Council’s adopted and emerging planning policies.
The Inspector agreed that the change of use was policy compliant and would have no adverse impact on the local area or its vitality and the appeal was allowed.
Our team of knowledgeable planners have helped many clients with planning appeals and in achieving a relevant change of use to help their businesses expand or their homes to grow. If you require assistance with a planning appeal or a change of use application, contact our expert team via firstname.lastname@example.org