The correct form of address

An inspector has upheld a council’s refusal to grant prior approval for the change of use of a former bed shop in Hertfordshire to a restaurant notwithstanding the appellant’s argument that as the premises had three separate addresses the GPDO floorspace limit should be applied to each (DCS Number 400-026-135).

The appellant had made three separate applications (for Nos. 18, 20 and 22). The inspector noted, however, that the property had operated as a single shop for over ten years prior to the submission of the applications, observing that it remained as a single space at the time of her site visit.

The inspector recorded that ‘Schedule 2, Part 3, Class C of the GPDO permits, amongst other things, development consisting of a change of use of a building from a use falling within Class A1 (shops) of the Schedule to the Use Classes Order to a use falling within Class A3 (restaurants and cafés). This is a qualified right’, she explained, ‘in that exceptions apply whereby development is not permitted by Class C if the cumulative floorspace of the existing building changing use under Class C exceeds 150 square metres.’

The floorspaces were given as: No.18, 100 square metres; No.20, 120 square metres; and No.22, 75 square metres, the overall total being 295 square metres of floorspace. The inspector found that as the floorspace cumulatively exceeded 150 square metres it followed that the property could not benefit from permitted development rights under Schedule 2, Part 3, Class C of the GPDO. She ruled that full planning permission was therefore required, commenting that the fact that the property might historically have been separate addresses was not material to her determination of the appeals.

Section 4.3423 of DCP Online covers GPDO Part 3 changes of use.