Post office conversion secured with full costs award

The conversion of a post office in southwest London to a dwelling under Class IA of Part 3 to Schedule 2 of the GPDO 1995 has been allowed with a full award of costs in favour of the appellant due to the council's opposition to the scheme.

The council stated that the appellant had not agreed to enter into a legal agreement preventing future occupiers from applying for a parking permit. It relied on a policy within its core strategy which supported car-free development provided there was no risk of increasing on-street parking pressure. In the absence of such an agreement permission was refused.

In making her site inspection the inspector noted the availability of some on-street parking spaces which were subject to payment of a fee and the display of the ticket. The site was within an area of good public transport accessibility and the existing use and ability to convert the premises to a restaurant under permitted development rights was likely to generate greater levels of traffic movements and parking demand compared with a dwellinghouse.

A requirement that the scheme was permit free was therefore unjustified and the council had failed to demonstrate that the scheme would give rise to an adverse impact. It had not sought additional information from the appellant prior to the application being refused and had failed to provide evidence to support its concerns. A full award of costs was made in favour of the appellant.

Inspector: Jennifer Tempest; Written representations

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