In response to the investigation undertaken by Planning magazine into prior approval appeals Mike Kiely, Chair of the POS Board, said the Planning figures suggested that councils were dealing with office to residential prior approval applications correctly.
The analysis shows that 43.9 per cent of proposals refused by councils were due to concerns over transport and highways impacts, or contamination or flood risk. A further 19.5 per cent were refused because the properties were not within the B1(a) use class, while the same proportion were refused because conditions attached to a previous permission ruled out the change of use.
In a written statement in February, Nick Boles, had said that some authorities "do not appear to have applied the correctly intended tests."
Kiely stated that councils "do have to check that they are in the right use at the right time" and that it was "perfectly legitimate" to refuse prior approval if a condition is worded in a way that restricts the future use of a building.