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Al-Najafi v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

DATE: 17 Nov 2015

CMG Ockleton (sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge) dismissed this s.289 appeal relating to an enforcement notice requiring the cessation of a mixed restaurant/café/shisha lounge use. The applicant had been granted planning permission, subject to conditions, to change the use of a ground floor premises from office space to a restaurant. However, he opened a cafe and shisha bar with seating outside the rear of the building for shisha smokers. He appealed the enforcement notice on grounds (a) and (f), but did not request that planning permission be granted for an A3 restaurant/café in line with the previously granted planning permission as a fallback. 

The Deputy Judge held that the Court of Appeal’s decisions in Moore v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2012] 3 E.G.L.R. 91 and Ahmed v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2014] 2 E.G.L.R. 197 did not impose a duty on the inspector to consider a less demanding solution that he had not been asked to consider, or require him to cast around for a solution. 

Zack Simons represented the Appellant (instructed by Kingsley Smith LLP) and Richard Moules represented the Respondent (instructed by the Government Legal Department)