The Supreme Court will next week (3 July) rule on the London Borough of Lambeth’s appeal over whether a condition restricting the use of premises should be implied into a planning permission granted by the council, or, alternatively, whether the planning permission should be interpreted as containing such a condition.
In 2014 Lambeth received an application to vary a condition - attached to a previous planning permission - restricting the use of retail premises in Streatham, to expand the range of non-food goods that could be sold.
The problem arose because of the way in which Lambeth dealt with the application. The council meant to extend the range of goods permitted to be sold, but not to grant unrestricted permission for class A1 use. However, it purported to restrict the range of goods permitted to be sold, not by imposing a condition, but by a restricted description of the permitted development.
In 2015 the second respondent, Aberdeen Asset Management, applied for a certificate of lawful use for unrestricted retail purposes.
Lambeth refused to grant the certificate, but the Secretary of State allowed the second respondent’s appeal.
The council’s application to quash that decision failed before Lang J. It also failed before the Court of Appeal in London Borough of Lambeth v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & Ors  EWCA Civ 844 (20 April 2018).
A Supreme Court panel comprising Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath, Lady Black, Lord Lloyd-Jones and Lord Briggs heard the case on 21 May this year.
The respondents were the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government; Aberdeen Asset Management; Nottinghamshire County Council; and HHGL Ltd.