Planning & Environment

I got quite excited when I saw an appeal case in Planning magazine with a heading “Timber merchant allowed upmarket clothing sales”. Visions of planners picking and choosing from the latest fashion ranges, instead of approving building materials.

The reality wasn’t so exciting. The inspector decided that upmarket leisure wear could also be used as outdoor work wear (Gucci for ghillies?!).

Class 1/ A1 covers all forms of retail use (although restrictions are often imposed on out of centre developments, to protect the town centre). This makes it difficult for the planning system to control souvenir shops or other retail uses which allegedly bring down the tone of a principal shopping street.

It’s often property leases that control the type of retail use – eg. the case in Glasgow where Ralph Lauren were granted a court order (on appeal) to prevent their landlord letting adjacent premises to a hairdresser.


Neil Collar