Selling a holiday property that was granted C3 use

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    Selling a holiday property that was granted C3 use

    We have a family home bought in the 60's as a 20 bedroom hotel. In 1987 we converted the hotel into holiday apartments after applying for planning permission to 'Convert a Hotel into 12 Holiday Apartments' - planning permission for change of use from C1 (hotel) to C3 was granted (a max of 5 beds in any one apartment). No restrictions on occupancy were applied (these days they often limit holiday homes to 10 or 11 months occupancy). Some were used for family accommodation (a total of 5 of the 12 over the years) and some have been nothing but holiday lets since 1987.
    But the planning authority are now saying that we can only sell them as 'holiday accommodation'. But as far as I can make out, a C3 residence has no definition between a holiday let (for 6 occupants or less) and full time residential occupancy and with no restriction on the number of months of occupation, that leaves us free to sell them as holiday homes or residential homes does it not?

    Any thoughts or history that goes for or against my argument would be very much appreciated.

    Section 2, Town and Country Planning Use Classes Order 1987 headed "Interpretation" lists some of the the words used in the Order with a definition of what each word is taken to mean.

    The word "dwellinghouse" is not mentioned, nor is there any reference to the words "holiday accommodation"

    If there had been a Use Class that specifically related to holiday accommodation, a change of use to be permanent residential accommodation would have been a breach of planning control.
    Then Section171B(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as amended, would make such use lawful after 4 years had passed so that enforcement action could not be started by the LPA.

    Despite what your LPA is stating about the lawful use of the 12 apartments that were granted planning permission, there is no aspect of the planning act that forbids the owner of each apartment from offering it for sale to the general public to be used for purposes listed under Use Class C3.

    Using the BAILII web-site and typing "holiday accommodation only" into the Case Law Search there were a number of cases that dealt with this question.

    After reading some of them it appears to be the situation that there had to be a condition imposed on the planning permission granted for the proposed development that restricted use to holiday accommodation.

    If you have the time to read some of those judgements, it may provide some insight into whether your LPA is correct in trying to prevent the sale of the separate apartments as residential C3 dwellings.

    Expressing a personal opinion as a retired director of a planning consultancy company, it seems that the LPA is using the concept of Bullshit Baffles Brains based on its own incorrect interpretation of what your legal rights are as owner of a hotel property granted planning permission to be converted into single residential units.


      Has each unit been paying Council Tax or assessed for Business Rates?


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