Deemed planning consent to change of use depends on existing use

Part 3, Class A of Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (the GPDO) permits development consisting of a change of use of a building from a use falling within Class A4 (drinking establishment) to a use falling within Class A1 (shops).

Noquet & Anor v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & Anor [2016] concerned a former public house last used as a mixed use of A1 (sale of wood burning stoves etc) and residential use. That mixed use was unauthorised under the planning rules.

The claimant’s case was that the rights under Part 3 operated so as to grant planning permission for change of use from A4 to A1 as the claimants were entitled to resume the A4 use of the property under section 57 (4) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

The High Court said the claimant could not rely on the GPDO to grant deemed planning consent to a retail use. The fact that there had been actual A4 use in the past was irrelevant.

What had to be compared was the present use and the proposed use.

The court was not concerned to consider a notional A4 use which could be exercised without the need for further permission, as would be the position here should the claimants revert to use of the property as a public house, for which no planning permission would be required.

This blog has been posted out of general interest. It does not replace the need to get bespoke legal advice in individual cases.