Sui generis sounds a little like an exotic dish from some far away place but no, it’s Latin for ‘of its own kind’ and a term used to categorise buildings that do not fall within any particular use class for the purposes of planning permission.
It’s not a term you hear too regularly, but it is being used currently on a building in Rye under planning application reference RR/2021/1815P which refers to the premises formally trading as the William Hill betting shop at 22 Cinque Ports Street, Rye, TN31 7AD, which until recently has laid empty.
The application (which has yet to be determined) is for Change of use from betting shop (sui generis) to café, food takeaway and antique shop (sui generis-mixed use)
It is good news that another empty commercial property in such a prominent position has attracted a tenant, empty shops don’t give a good impression for visiting tourists and one fewer can only help.
Looking at Rother District Council’s planning portal, the application has the support of Rye Town Council (5 October 2021) and Rye Conservation Society also has no objection to the application in a letter dated 21 October 2021, subject to certain conditions.
The building now looks very impressive, completely refurbished and very chic, trading as Pizza & Prosecco. Last Saturday, October 30, its doors were open to the public (see photo) but perhaps somewhat premature, as of Sunday, October 31 the application was still registered online as undecided. The decision is due to be determined on 15 November 2021.
Having gone through the planning system myself in the last few months, I know first hand how protracted and delayed the planning system is at the moment, there are no short cuts and we are all at the mercy of the planning department who have a great deal of catching up to do.
It seems likely that planning consent might be granted, but opening up before the application is determined is a brave move or have I missed something?
Sui generis is quantifiable, in this instance changing from a bookies to something totally different but time will tell if the planners agree, when and if planning permission is approved. There’s no such thing as a sure bet, especially when it involves planning permission.
Image Credits: Nick Forman .