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When can a sitting room not be a living room?

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

In 2005 a farmer received planning permission to develop 4 barns for holiday accommodation and a condition restricting occupancy to short stay holiday accommodation for the period between 1st April and 30th September every year, with occupation during the winter being limited to a maximum of 3 months.

In 2019 the owner applied to vary the condition restricting use to short stay holiday accommodation and also for a new planning permission to allow residential use.

The local authority refused both applications and the matter went to appeal where the owner was not successful. The refusal of the planning application in itself it not surprising but the appeal has provided additional guidance on what may be achieved by through the statutory process to vary a condition attached to a planning permission (a section 73 application).

The local authority and the planning inspector all agreed that whilst the condition could be varied by the section 73 process, the section 73 process could not change the description of the development – changing the condition would therefore alter the nature of the development and that was not possible within the section 73 process.

Although extremely disappointing for the landowner, the appeal has provided useful clarification on what is, and what is not possible to change in a planning permission via a section 73 process and is therefore useful for developers who are considering changes to developments.

If you require any advice and assistance with any Commercial Property issue, contact our Specialist team.

Nina Wilson


Nina Wilson


Nina is a Solicitor and Partner of almost 20 years experience advising clients on commercial property law. A Legal 500 recognised Lawyer, Nina has acted in multi-million pound acquisitions and development agreements.