Community use preferred to office use continuation

An inspector has decided that she would not vary the terms of a personal condition imposed on the use of a building in central London which restricted occupation to the metropolitan police, concluding that the appellant had not explored its suitability for a range of community uses.

Planning permission had been granted in 2006 to allow the use of the ground floor within Class D1 but excluding its use as a place or worship and as a drug rehabilitation centre. Subsequently, permission was granted for the use as offices and the metropolitan police occupied part of the building. The appellant stated that there was no demand for a community or health related use such as a nursery, dentist's or optician's.

The marketing campaign conducted between 2005 and 2010 specifically sought interest for use of the premises as a children’s nursery. But it was not self-evident that other community uses had been targeted and since the site lay within a primarily residential area, a community use of the type originally permitted would be appropriate to the locality. Despite the fact that it had never been used within Class D1 the inspector held that an unfettered office use would be inappropriate unless it could be proven that there was no demand.

Inspector: Louise Phillips; Written representations

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