Condition scope challenged as ineffective on goods limit

The High Court dismissed a claim by the owners of a retail park in Catford that a condition imposed on a planning permission was ineffective in limiting the range of goods which could be sold.

The condition stated that the consent authorised non-food bulky sales of furniture, DIY, electrical goods, car accessories, garden items and other trades as permitted by the council in writing. The owners argued that this did not subvert the Use Classes Order (UCO) which allowed buildings to be used for any purpose within the same use class unless it had been specifically excluded. Various legal judgments were relied upon to demonstrate that unless the terms of the UCO were specifically excluded any goods including food and convenience goods could be sold. Consequently, they claimed that an inspector who had rejected a LDC appeal (DCS Number 100-080-053) had been wrong in law.

Mrs Justice Patterson concluded that the condition specified what the planning permission "shall be for" leaving no element of discretion and contained the word "only" limiting it to non-food retailing. A list of goods permitted to be sold was also included in the condition and allowing the sale of food would be inconsistent with its terms.

Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Date 17 October 2013

Ref: CO/319/2013

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