Trentham (G. Percy) Ltd v Gloucestershire County Council

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date12 January 1966
Judgment citation (vLex)[1966] EWCA Civ J0112-1
CourtCourt of Appeal
Date12 January 1966

[1966] EWCA Civ J0112-1

In The Supreme Court of Judicature

Court of Appeal

From the Divisional Court Queen's Bench Division


The Master Of The Rolls (Lord Denning)

Lord Justice Harman and

Lord Justice Diplock

G. Percy Trentham Limited
The Gloucestershire County Council and another

MR K. GOODFELLOW (instructed by Messrs Julius White & Bywaters, Agents for Messrs Turberville Smith & Co.) appeared as Counsel for the Appellants.

MR A. McNABB (instructed by Messrs Field Roscoe & Co., Agents for Mr Guy H. Davies, Clerk to the County Council) appeared as Counsel for the Respondents.


In Gloucestershire there was a farmer who farmed 75 acres. He had a farmhouse and farm buildings. Some of the farm buildings were used for livestock, cattle and chickens: others for housing the dead stock, such as tractors and machinery, and corn and hay. This farmer bought an adjoining farm and he found that he did not need this farmhouse and outbuildings. He transferred everything to his new farmhouse and outbuildings on the other farm. He sold off this farmhouse and farm buildings to a firm of civil engineering contractors called G. Percy Trentham Limited.


G. Percy Trentham Limited. applied for planning permission to turn the farm buildings over to the use of their contractors business. They did not get permission. So they decided to use some of the buildings for their business without planning permission at all. They realised that they could not use the livestock buildings because they did not want than for livestock. But they thought they could use the dead stock buildings for their own dead stock - if I may use that expression. Without getting any permission at all, they used some nine of these buildings for the storage of building materials, plant and equipment. I need not pause over some of the farm buildings which were previously used for cider and afterwards for storage. It is sufficient for the question in hand to say that there was a block of buildings which were previously used for agricultural purposes for the storage of farm machinery and equipment. Now Trentham wish to store in them building materials for their contractors' business.


Similarly with the farmhouse. The farmer had had a couple of rooms which he used as an office on one or two days a week. Trenthams thought they would turn some five rooms into offices. They did so without any planning permission at all.


The Planning Authority in December 1963 issued an enforcement notice against Trenthams requiring them to discontinue the use of the land for offices and storage of plant and materialsof building and civil engineering contractors? and requiring them to remove therefrom all office equipment and such plant and materials. The ground of that enforcement notice was that Trenthams had made a material change of use by changing the use to these new purposes. On getting that enforcement notice Trenthams appealed under the Act to the Minister. An inquiry was held and the Inspector reported against them. The Minister in his letter of decision also found against them. Trenthams appeal to this Court. They do not appeal about the use for offices. They only appeal on the use for storage.


Under the planning law if a person desires to make a material change in the use of any buildings or land, he must get permission from the Planning Authority unless he can bring him-self within one of the exceptions. Trenthams say they do not need permission because they come within the exception in Section 12(2)(f) of the 1962 Act. That exception says that the following use of land does not involve development, that is to say, "in the case of buildings or other land which are used for a purpose of any class specified in an order made by the Minister under this section, the use thereof for any other purpose of the same class". That sentence needs interpretation before anyone can understand it. To do so, you must look at the Minister's Order made under it. He specifies in Class I "shops". The exception means that it is not "development" for a person to change the use from one kind of shop to another kind of shop. A man can change it from a butcher's shop to a baker's shop without permission. He can freely switch over from one use to another so long as it is within the same class.


Turning now to the Order made by the Minister, the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1963, the relevant class here is Class X. It specifies "use as a wholesale ware-house or repository for any purpose". It follows that if a building or other land has been used previously as a repository for any purpose, you can use it again as a repository for any purposewithout getting permission. For instance, if it was used as a repository for storing furniture, you can change it over to a repository for storing archives.


Trenthams argue that they come within Class X. I cannot...

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28 cases
  • Newbury District Council v Secretary of State for the Environment
    • United Kingdom
    • House of Lords
    • 28 February 1980 given to that word. 29 The Secretary of State based his decision on a sentence of Lord Denning's in his judgment in Trentham Ltd. v. Gloucestershire County Council [1966] 1 W.L.R. 506. Lord Denning had pointed out that under Class X a building used as a repository for storing furniture c......
  • Newbury District Council v Secretary of State for the Environment
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 13 July 1978 in describing a furniture respository or a repository for keeping archives. Having these in mind, I ventured in Trentham v. Gloucestershire County Council (1966) 1 Weekly Law Reports 506, to say that: "A repository means a place where goods are stored away, to be kept for the sake of ke......
  • Thomas David (Porthcawl) Ltd v Penybont Rural District Council
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 5 October 1972
    ...been worked. 11 On this point I think the important question is what is the planning unit? That is what we said in G. Percy Frentham Ltd. v. Gloucestershire County Council 1966 1 All. E.R. 701 and it was applied recently in Britt v. Secretary of State 1972 1 W.L.R. 1207. In this case I thin......
  • Shephard v Buckinghamshire County Council
    • United Kingdom
    • Chancery Division
    • Invalid date
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2 books & journal articles
  • Table of Cases
    • United Kingdom
    • Wildy Simmonds & Hill Restrictions on the Use of Land Preliminary Sections
    • 30 August 2016
    ...for the Prevention, Treatment, and Abolition of Tuberculosis [1918] 2 Ch 180 287 G Percy Trentham Ltd v Gloucestershire County Council [1966] 1 WLR 506, [1966] 1 All ER 704, 130 JP 179 385 G&S Brough Ltd v Salvage Wharf Ltd [2009] EWCA Civ 21, [2010] Ch 11, [2009] 3 WLR 990, [2009] 2 P ......
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    • Wildy Simmonds & Hill Planning Law. A Practitioner's Handbook Contents
    • 30 August 2019
    ...JPL 1256 198 Fritz v Hobson (1880) 14 Ch D 542, 49 LJ Ch 321, 28 WR 459, ChD 572 G Percy Trentham Ltd v Gloucestershire County Council [1966] 1 WLR 506, [1966] 1 All ER 702, 64 LGR 134, CA 87 Gabbitas v Secretary of State for the Environment & Newham LBC [1985] JPL 630 327 Galloway v Lo......

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