In a previous blog, Flame test, we reported an appeal case in which an inspector was not satisfied that a sprinkler system would provide adequate mitigation against fire safety risk at a site for four flats which would be inaccessible to fire appliances. In another appeal concerning the erection of one dwelling in Greater Manchester, on the other hand, an inspector decided that sprinklers would overcome the problem.
The change of use of a building in Oxfordshire from B1 office use to nine flats under Schedule 2, Part 3, Class O of the GPDO has been allowed notwithstanding that operational development was required to implement the change of use (DCS Number 200-007-297).
We all know that each planning application and appeal falls to be considered on its own merits. Nonetheless, this accepted wisdom should not be allowed to provide an excuse to close off proper consideration of comparable developments, as can sometimes happen at appeal. Because, in the interest of fairness there must be consistency in decision-making. Although two schemes are rarely identical there can be similarities which merit equal treatment.