Ancillary Retail Sales Area as part of Warehouse Unit found Not to be Exempted Development

A question has arisen as to whether the use of a portion of the overall premises for ancillary purposes, comprising multi-purpose display, reception, storage and sale activities at Unit W1E, Tougher’s Business Park, Ladytown, Naas, County Kildare is or is not development or is or is not exempted development.

The applicant stated that the principal use of this overall premises is for finishing, cutting, adapting for sale and packing of meat which is then sold, on a bulk basis, to third parties principally restaurateurs and other factories. Large scale quantities of meat are brought into this facility and the owner undertakes portion-control and an element of treatment before selling on produce to third parties. The main operational area of the premises is laid out in an open-plan manner, to which access is restricted. There is a small area, to the front and this area, is separated from the operational area, so as to facilitate its use as a public trade counter. This area is also used for displaying meat, particularly with shorter sell-by-dates due to cancellations by restaurateurs, butchers outlets and other factories. The products are stored also used for charitable organisations.

It was contended by the applicant that a change of use can occur which is not substantial or material. This was backed up by reference to case law.

However, An Bord Pleanála concluded that –

a) part of the premises is used for the sale and display of finihed product,

(b) the sale of product includes sale to the public and is not restricted to the catering industry or otherwise,

(c) the sale of product to the public is a continuous use and not an occasional use and thus comprises retail use,

(d) the level and pattern of traffic generated by the retail use is materially different to that generated by the permitted use,

(e) the said change of use of part of the light industrial unit would contravene a condition attached to a permission, which limits the use of the units to solely for light industry/warehousing/associated vehicle parking and associated office uses and for no other uses, and

(f) the change from light industrial unit uses to include the display and sale of goods constitutes a change of use which is considered to be a material change of use and is not exempted development:

An Bord Pleanála therefore decided that the use of portion of the overall premises for ancillary purposes, comprising multi-purpose display, reception, storage and sale activities at Unit W1E, Tougher’s Business Park, Ladytown, Naas, County Kildare is development and is not exempted development.

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