Pub owner wins fight against planning permission for office block
A pub owner has won an appeal against planning permission for a large development that would almost entirely block out light from her premises.
The court heard that developers had been granted permission to demolish a single storey building and replace it with a three storey block comprising of commercial premises on the first two floors and residential flats on the floor above.
The pub owner had opposed permission on the grounds that noise complaints from new residents would prejudice her late night licence and the loss of daylight would destroy her subsidiary business hiring out the upstairs as a location for filming and photography.
The inspector held that sound insulation in the new building would be sufficient to deal with noise problems.
However, in the case of light, even the developer's expert had accepted that the new building would almost totally extinguish the morning sunlight falling on the pub's eastern elevation, which lit the main shooting location of the staircase.
The owner submitted that in assessing the risk to her business of complaints of noise, the inspector had failed to consider the fact that residents would open their windows.
He had also not dealt with the loss of natural light to the eastern flank of the pub.
The Court of Appeal rejected the pub owner’s arguments about noise but found in her favour in relation to the issue of light. It held that the inspector had failed to deal with the loss of daylight and sunlight despite being bound to do so. Planning permission was therefore quashed.
Please contact Hugh Beeley if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any of the legal aspects of planning and development.