Q: Permission was granted for a class A3 restaurant and cafe use subject to conditions such as restrictions on operating hours. Following its implementation, the building's use was changed to class A1 retail under the provisions of the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) 1995 as amended. Do the conditions on the A3 permission still apply to the A1 use? SP

A: I do not believe the conditions would apply because the A1 use would benefit from a different planning permission, in the form of the blanket permission granted by the GPDO. I do not believe conditions transfer from one permission to another. This is why all the original conditions have to be reimposed if an application made under section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to vary or remove conditions on a planning permission is approved. If permitted development rights are being used, however, the only conditions and limitations are those imposed by the GPDO. Paul Barkley

A: I have not been able to find any guidance on this issue in Circular 9/95 on conditions or elsewhere. However, Paul Barkley's comments seem logical, so I think his answer is likely to be correct. If permission is granted for a use with permitted development rights to switch to another use, I suppose it would be possible to impose a condition covering that eventuality, as long as it is justifiable. In the example cited by SP, this would need to be along the lines that, notwithstanding the GPDO provisions, opening hours restrictions would still apply to any subsequent retail use. This would require a degree of foresight and it would not, of course, be possible to guard against changes to the permitted development rules. John Harrison


Is planning permission or conservation area consent required to remove a church hall chimney in a conservation area? SD

A village ex-servicemen's club closed in 2010 and the building was demolished. A masterplan for the village adopted as a supplementary planning document in 2011 identified the site as an "important community facility" and stated that permission would not be given for other uses "without clear support of the local community through effective consultation and a referendum within the parish". Even though it is legally the electoral authority for the area, the council has said that an applicant proposing a new use must carry out any such referendum. Is this policy lawful and reasonable? There is no such policy in the local plan or in masterplans for other settlements in the district. LW

Do you have an answer to these questions? If so, please email it to Forum editor John Harrison at by 5 December. We also welcome your queries, which can be emailed to the same address.

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