The Appellant lodged an appeal against the grant of planning permission to a rival supermarket. The grounds for appeal were that the planning application had applied for permission for a supermarket with net retail sales space of no more than 2403 sq metres. Planning permission had been granted with a condition limiting floor space for “net retail sales up to 2919 sq metres,” this figure being the total area of the proposed building including access areas not intended for retail. The Applicant contended that the permission was uncertain and also unlawful due to the principle that a planning authority can grant no more than what is sought.
The Court held that although the condition was poorly drafted, it was plainly possible to ascribe to it a sensible meaning. Hence there was no issue of uncertainty. The issue of unlawfulness was cured by the fact that there was a section 106 agreement which expressly limited the sales area to 2403 sq. metres and therefore the planning permission taken together with the s.106 agreement provided a sufficiently certain form of control which did not grant more than was sought.