2021 – A Year of Success for Apex Planning Consultants’ Clients

Apex Successful Projects.

Apex Planning Consultants look back at some of our achievements over the past year – in this blog we look at some of our successful ‘Change of Use’ and ‘Listed Building’ projects…

While 2021 was certainly not a ‘normal’ year in so many ways, for Apex Planning Consultants’ business continued apace, as we helped our clients achieve their desired results in the planning arena.

The following are just a few examples of our achievements, obtaining permission for clients looking for change of use on their properties, both commercial and residential, including a Grade II listed building.

Success Temple

Change of use from dance studio to a church

Apex Planning Consultants had already acted for this client previously, obtaining planning permission for the change of use of an industrial building to a place of worship. Unfortunately, having been granted planning permission for the property, the purchase subsequently fell through.

So, we had to start again. The client identified a different building that had been on the market for some time, and which actually met the church’s needs even better than the previous property.

The church asked Apex Planning Consultants to take a look at the proposal. We confirmed that with the marketing campaign not generating any other interest and factoring in that the dance studio had no history of causing disturbance in the surrounding residential area, with the sustainable credentials of the site location and the availability of on-site parking, it was reasonable to conclude that permission for a change of use would be granted.

We worked with an architect and the marketing agent to secure drawings and the appropriate details. We also prepared the Planning Statement that showed how the proposed change of use satisfied all relevant planning policies.

The application was submitted, and the local planning authority (LPA) consulted neighbours and statutory consultees. Unfortunately, the LPA received letters of objection from a resident and the Parish Council. In addition, the highway officer expressed concerns about the parking provisions, despite the fact the same calculations were used as for the client’s previous application, and which were accepted by the Council. We immediately liaised with the planning officer to show that the objectors’ assumptions were incorrect and should be disregarded. The planning officer agreed, and the planning application was duly granted planning permission with conditions that simply required compliance, not the submission of further information.

The client and his congregation were delighted that they could immediately use the building as their church.

Original Bedstead Co

Change of use of a Grade II Listed Building from a shop to a dwelling

In this case our client had already attempted and failed to win permission from Buckinghamshire Council for a change of use, so they came to Apex Planning Consultants to ask us to consider a different approach. We provided advice as part of an appraisal exercise, which included a marketing campaign to demonstrate that there was no interest from anyone to occupy the vacant shop and that the proposed change of use to a dwelling should be granted.

Subsequently, the client also expressed a desire to demolish a rear extension and to erect a replacement.

We often work with a variety of other outside parties on these kinds of projects – and Listed Buildings need some careful consideration. In this case we worked closely with the marketing agent, an architect, a heritage consultant, and a flood risk engineer to prepare a robust application.

The Council quickly agreed on the principle of the change of use, thanks to the weight of the marketing campaign (showing no interest in using the building for commercial purposes) and the material considerations we offered (reasons for the lack of interest included small rooms and narrow, twisting stairs across three floors, and the limited opportunity to change this because of the Listed status of the building), which justified the change of use.

Because of the building’s listed status, the heritage consultant and Apex Planning Consultants worked very closely with the Council’s conservation officer to agree window and door details (internal and external) and the design and materials for the replacement rear extension.

The end result was that planning and Listed Building Consent was granted, with conditions that meant the development could proceed without the need to submit more information to secure the discharge of any conditions.

Wells Motor Cars

Change of use of agricultural buildings to light industrial and storage use

We were really excited to work on this project – where we helped a new company that planned to assemble a new British sports car from within former agricultural buildings, to get production off the ground.

You can read the full story at www.apexplanning.co.uk/from-agriculture-to-sports-cars.

If you would like to discuss your own project with us, or just find out more about what we do, please continue to browse the website or drop us an email to: info@apexplanning.co.uk without obligation.