The Government has relaxed many permitted development rights over recent years. One that has been popular with developers, but often less popular with local planning authorities, is the change of use of office space to flats. The permitted development route still requires a prior approval application to be made, which needs robust evidence to demonstrate that the change can occur. We coordinated a professional team to address transport, highways, parking, noise, contamination, flooding and internal layout at a scheme for conversion in the LB Richmond: a local authority with a reputation for resisting permitted development. The prior approval application for 12 flats was approved.
Client: private property owner
The owner and occupier of a large commercial warehouse building on an industrial estate in Surrey asked us to advise in how to maximise the use of their site, following a change to their business model with more online activities rather than face-to-face transactions. We devised a strategy and series of planning applications to split the premises into smaller units and secure new flexible uses within those premises, with rearranged parking and servicing provision. The submissions were approved by the Council under delegated powers.
Client: commercial occupier
A successful small scheme for our long-standing clients of the Grosvenor Estate: the replacement of a shopfront in a listed building to provide a new shopfront of traditional design. We appraised the building and wider area, and advised on the design of the works to secure the consent under delegated powers.
Client: Grosvenor Estate
Planning permission has been granted for works to a commercial property in the small town of Crowthorne, Berkshire to provide additional retail space and new flats. The premises had been in mixed retail and office use, and we gained permission for an extension to the rear to improve the shop as well as the creation of new flats on upper floors. Issues were parking, access, servicing and quality of space. We worked with other consultants to gain permission under delegated powers, subject to a legal agreement.
Client: private developer
We wrote a short piece for the monthly newsletter of the Belgravia Society, following research into a site that formerly housed a 'sun ray therapy' building from the inter-War period. This was a popular health movement at the time which saw thousands bathing in artificial sunlight, until post-War the problems of over exposure became evident.
We have been working with recent start-up company Karma Kitchen in securing planning permission for their new programme of opening kitchens in commercial buildings. They are expanding into new ventures and regenerating redundant buildings to provide easy to use commercial kitchen areas by the hour or day for the hospitality sector.
Client: Karma Kitchen
After long-running discussions, applications, appeals and negotiations with the local authority, we have finally managed to resolve dispute regarding commercial buildings near Chertsey Station, Surrey. The case had involved the redevelopment of dilapidated buildings where the Council had only wished to see a very limited amount of new commercial space. Over some time we managed to secure a mixed commercial and residential scheme, and then resolve disputes regarding the discharge of conditions and variation to the permission.
Client: private developer
Dark kitchens are increasingly common, often being set up in commercial premises to provide short-term space for companies to prepare food for takeaways or other catering outlets. They can raise some complex planning issues about change of use and effect on the area, as well as policies concerning concentration of certain activities. We have been advising on this matter for clients, which is a particularly sensitive issue at the moment with the coronavirus leading to more home deliveries and takeaways.
Client: private companies
A project where we got planning permission some time ago, and now built-out and occupied. The redevelopment of a brownfield site within the Green Belt, south of Windsor. The coverage of housing and scale of development - and design in the streetscene - were all issues, along with highways too. We negotiated a successful permission for the client.
Client: Jordan Construction
A long-running saga has taken a step closer to being resolved. We have worked for a commercial client undertaking vehicle repairs under a lawful planning permission. We sought to extend the opening hours for the business, with new mitigation measures to ensure no noise to the neighbours. Planning permission was granted for this change, but the Council imposed conditions on the grant of permission that meant the permission was effectively useless. We appealed against the conditions and the Inspector agreed with our case, so varied the permission to be something our client can actually implement. Partial costs were awarded against the Council for them imposing unreasonable conditions.
Client: National Rescue Group
See the old blog site for more work from
2012 and 2011