DC Casebook: Commercial and Industrial - Late office hours enforcement quashed

An enforcement notice claiming that an office in Leeds is being used outside permitted hours has been struck down after an inspector found no noticeable impact on local residents' amenity.

Planning permission had been granted subject to a condition that the premises only be used between 8am and 6.30pm during the week, with half-day opening on Saturdays and none on Sundays and bank holidays. The appellants explained that the premises acted as a base for a team of canvassers who generated leads for sales staff. Workers were normally present until 9pm on most days, with one person closing the office at about 10pm.

The council had taken enforcement action on the basis that people leaving the premises behaved rowdily. The inspector decided that this was not characteristic of office uses. In any event, he reasoned that public order legislation was capable of dealing with such occurrences. Other late-night uses including a postal sorting office lay close to the site, he noted. He was also satisfied that vehicles entering and leaving the premises until late evening would not harm residents' amenity. He extended the hours of opening to 11pm on weekdays and 4pm on weekends and bank holidays.

DCS Number 100-058-004

Inspector David Pinner; Inquiry.

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