Two recent cases have set the team wondering about the rationale behind the wording of the GPDO.
In (DCS Number 400-010-438) permission for the residential conversion of a building in Devon under Class P, Part 3, Schedule 2 of the GPDO was denied because it had not been used solely for a storage or distribution centre use. The inspector noted that the building was being utilised for storage purposes in connection with the appellant’s own business, for paid storage purposes by others, and for some minor domestic storage. He held that some of those purposes, such as the storage paid for by others, could be said to fall within Use Class B8. However, other purposes were connected to the appellant’s permaculture activities on the wider site. This would not fall under the ambit of Use Class B8, but was storage which was ancillary to the primary use of the site for the purposes of permaculture. The building was therefore being used for a mixture of purposes and the conversion was not one that is permitted by Class P of the 2015 Order.
In west London the residential conversion of a recruitment office was denied permission under Class O of Part 3, Schedule 2 of the GPDO because the office use was deemed to fall within Use Class A2 rather than Use Class B1a (DCS Number 400-010-635). The appellant argued that the first and second floor premises did not have a ground floor frontage and were not open to visiting members of the public. The inspector pointed out, however, that there is nothing within Class A2 which stipulates that such uses are required to have a ground floor presence or to be open to visiting members of the public.
Scrutiny of the GPDO reveals no reason to challenge either inspector’s decision. The challenge lies in discovering the logic behind the GPDO’s differentiation between different types of storage uses and different types of office uses.
The following DCP chapter is relevant: 4.3423