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A1 to Residential Permission Secured at Appeal

As featured in this weeks ‘Planning’ magazine, we have secured permission for the change of use of a retail unit to residential use under Class IA (Permitted Development). 
We are pleased to have secured on behalf of a private client approval for the change of use of a retail unit (Use Class A1/A2) located within the West Norwood / Tulse Hill District Centre (LB of Lambeth) to provide a residential unit (Use Class C3). 
The site had been marketed for over 18 months for A1/A2 without viable interest being shown. A planning application was first refused for its change of use to residential and later prior approval refused for its conversion to a single dwelling.  The Council claimed  its loss would diminish the retail offer and sustainability of the Centre. 
In allowing the appeal, the Inspector concluded:
“…..because of a combination of its existing layout and peripheral location within the District Centre, there is less than a reasonable prospect that A1/A2 services can be successfully marketed to continue to be provided on the appeal site. Furthermore, the loss of the appeal property to these uses would not, in my view, result in an unacceptable impact on the provision of these services in the area. Sufficient and substantial opportunities would remain.” 
“…..the test for prior approval is the sustainability of the key shopping area and I conclude that the change of use of the ground floor of 194 Tulse Hill
to a residential unit would not affect the fundamental sustainability of the West Norwood District Centre as a whole.” 
Concluding overall:
“In these circumstances, and taking account of the objectives which lay behind the introduction of the new class of permitted development, I conclude that
despite the provisions of the development plan, the change of use of the ground floor of 194 Tulse Hill to residential use would be acceptable”.