Mixed use prevents conversion of office space to residential use

Permitted development rights under Class O of Part 3 to Schedule 2 of the GPDO 2015 did not apply to a building in Surrey because it comprised a mixed use which thereby prevented its conversion to residential use.

The building contained a number of rooms and spaces. The part of it proposed to be converted to residential was in office use, the inspector decided. However, the entire building also included some warehousing and common spaces, with a range of occupiers and businesses. Toilets were cleaned daily, with a maintained phone system for the entire building and mail was delivered centrally and then put into individual mail boxes. The council, relying on Burdle & Wiliams v Secretary of State for the Environment [1972], argued that the planning unit comprised a mixed use which was sui generis and not, as contended by the appellant, a range of physically distinct and separate uses, the office space attracting permitted development rights. The inspector decided that the range of communal facilities and entrances/exits which were required to enable the various parts of the building to be accessed meant that the building comprised a single planning unit containing a mixture of offices and warehousing. Consequently, Class O rights did not apply.

Inspector: S Papworth; Hearing

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