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we purchased a house with attached former post office which moved to another part of the village many years before. it left a retail unit that was used as a hardware store but had been closed when we brought the property. the unit is attached to our house by a internal door. it has no facilities, as was a former post masters house. we applied for permitted development to convert to a usable residential room in our home and was turned down as council said it was sui generis. we applied for full planning and was turned down as unit was class E and hadnt been marketed for 12 months.

the council confirmed it was a integral room to our home and took on board it had no facilities but still requested us to market it for 12 months as a commercial rental. would it be worth taking to appeal ?


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This isn't as straightforward as it might at first seem.

A shop (and post office) are Use Class E.  Normally I would advise using Class MA to convert to residential under a 56 day prior approval.

However this would give you a new separate dwelling and need to meet minimum space standards and natural light to all habitable rooms.

As you wish to undertake conversion of it to C3 to merge with the existing home, this would need full planning.

I would most certainly appeal as property has clearly been closed for a period of time.  You have nothing to lose.

This might be where a planning consultant would be useful as the case can be argued with the local authority with evidence as required.

In case you do need to resubmit, put together evidence of when it was closed and if possible details as to how the previous business was struggling etc. Not sure if it closed before you purchased or if you purchased as a going concern and then decided to close the store.

Please contact us if you would like our assistance with an appeal and/or a new application



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