Consent Given for a Class O Office to Residential Change of Use

<-- Back to News Page March 2, 2020

Eastbourne Borough Council has given consent for a Prior Notification office to residential change of use application made under Class O of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended).

The existing building was constructed in the 1960/70s and contained two floors within office use but has been vacant for almost a year. The building now requires significant renovation, however if the building were to stay within its current use, then there were viability constraints. Consequently, a Class O change of use was explored to secure the most viable use for the building.

The site is actually located on the fringes of a designated commercial area, but has good road frontage and is within close proximity to a neighbouring residential area. This local plan designation meant that the proposed change of use would not be allowed under normal planning policy considerations. Class O has allowed an active use to take over the building and prevent it from being left redundant for a prolonged period of time.

Our planning application submission systematically demonstrated that the criteria within Class O could be met in full.  Critically we were able to demonstrate that:

– There would be no material transport and highways impacts of the development.

– There were no contamination risks on the site.

– There would be no unacceptable flood risks. A detailed flood risk assessment examined the on-site risks and formed part of the application submission. It was found that despite being within Flood Zone 3, the proposed scheme would not be subject to an unacceptable flood risk.

–  There would be no noise impacts. A detailed noise assessment assessed the impacts of noise from commercial premises on the intended occupiers of the development. It was found that there would be no material noise impact.

This prior notification process has allowed new life to be breathed into a building that would have otherwise remained redundant due to restrictive planning policies and a lack of demand for the existing office use.

We are very experienced with change of use planning applications and can advise on the most appropriate course of action.  Please contact us at to discuss your project needs further.

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