In 2002, Telford and Wrekin Council granted planning permission for a garden centre near Newport in Shropshire. Condition 19 of the permission stated that prior to the opening of the garden centre for trading, details of the proposed types of products to be sold should be submitted to and agreed in writing by the Council. The interested parties subsequently submitted the list but formal approval was never given by the Council.
In 2010, the interested party applied to the Council for a certificate of lawful use of development, to seek confirmation that the use of the site for any retail purpose within Class A1 was lawful. The Council refused the application. On appeal the Inspector held that, when properly construed, Condition 19 did not limit the retail use of the premises to that of a garden centre, nor that it would require the operator to only sell the products on the submitted list.
The Council appealed. It was held that the condition did not contain a prohibition on selling goods other than those in the list submitted by the interested party, it only required a list of products intended to be sold to be submitted to the Council. It was also commented that the Council were fully aware of the wording required in order to restrict the use of the site to a garden centre.
Note: amendments to the Infrastructure Planning (Miscellaneous Prescribed Provisions) Regulations 2010 will also come into effect on 6 April 2013.