MARKS and Spencer has been given a final temporary two-year permission to retain a post room close to its customer services on the Chester Business Park.
Planning officers at Cheshire West and Chester Council point out the temporary building, set in the Green Belt and said to be built of poor quality materials, was originally approved in 1996, also for a two-year period.
This was intended to give the company time to find a permanent solution to "operational difficulties" it was encountering, according to a report.
The temporary permission has been extended a number of times over the intervening 14 years.
The report adds, however: "It might be expected that 14 years would be sufficient for this purpose."
The post room is used for the handling of incoming goods which are sent back by stores following complaints by customers, according to Marks and Spencer.
It is also used to store returned goods, including perishable food products, from stores around the country while complaints are investigated.
The company said it was seeking permission for a further five years but planners suggested a two-year temporary permission.
They felt the post room is inappropriate development in the Green Belt but accepted the company had set out "a compelling set of difficulties the business would face, if the application was refused."
Planning officers insisted that Marks and Spencer should be informed a further extension of time would be unlikely.
They recommended approval on that basis and this was agreed by the council.
Marks and Spencer argue the post room is built of high standard materials and does not affect the character or appearance of the surrounding area.