Office to Residential Change of Use Approved in Colchester<-- Back to News Page February 14, 2020
We have recently secured planning permission for the proposed change of use of an office to residential use.
The existing building has a whole comprises an office at the front on the ground and first floor levels and a residential dwelling to the rear. The proposed scheme sought the change of use of the office to residential use so that it could be incorporated into the existing residential dwelling to the rear. The application included elevation changes to give the building a residential appearance.
Ordinarily this application would have been submitted under Class O of the General Permitted Development Order (2015) as amended, however in this particular case this site did not meet all the criteria and a full planning application was submitted instead.
Colchester Borough Council’s adopted planning policies actually resist the loss of office space and employment uses generally, which made this a challenging application. We put forward a robust case that demonstrated that there are relevant material considerations in favour of this proposal. We pointed out that:
– The emerging local plan, which we argued was at an advanced stage, had softened the Council’s position in respect to existing employment sites.
– The office is located in a location within the Borough, where the Council’s own evidence demonstrates that there is an abundance of office space available and is an area of low office market activity.
– The site had poor functionality as an office due to a lack of parking, and incompatibility with the residential use to the rear, which caused amenity issues in this instance.
We are pleased that Colchester Borough Council has approved this office to residential change of use planning application.
If you are looking to change the use of an existing building, please contact us at email@example.com to discuss how we can assist you though the planning process.