Plainview Planning are delighted with the recent approval for a dual use planning application to enable a D1 osteopathic clinic to run from a B1 office space in Camden, London.
We were approached to assist after an application for the full change of use from B1 to D1 was refused by the council on the grounds that it resulted in loss of employment floor space, contrary to adopted policy.
Finding the right approach:
Our planning consultants identified that the office space in question was inadequate for a B1 use and as a consequence had remained empty, used only for storage for the last five years. Further research highlighted that the restrictive development plan policy had not been applied consistently on similar proposals throughout the borough. Our planning team also compiled relevant case law which further supported our client’s case.
Whilst it appeared that the refusal was ripe for appeal, such an approach was not necessarily ideal for our client. Their current premises were no longer viable and they needed to move swiftly to ensure continuation of treatment for their existing client base. We decided a two pronged approach was best. Whilst we prepared the way for appeal, we also submitted a planning application for a dual B1/D1 use. This application proposed to retain the B1 office use, but would enable our client to use the space as a D1 osteopathic clinic for the duration of their tenure.
We negotiated extensively with the case officer, highlighting the sustainable benefits of the scheme in its provision of:
- employment for medical and administrative staff;
- a community use that was needed in the local area;
- the expansion of a local business;
- the proposed dual use would assuage council concerns in relation to local policy but would enable a disused office space to function usefully once more;
- the later opening hours would facilitate ease of access and also meant that the space had the potential to support nearby existing medical facilities.
All of which provided a strong evidence base for how the proposed scheme would meet the requirements of both national and local planning policy.
We are delighted that the council approved the dual use application and we were able to withdraw the appeal, saving our client considerable time. Our client has been able to continue to serve their existing patients and create better facilities to help the wider community, whilst also preserving and supporting local planning policy.
Plainview Planning is an independent town and country planning consultancy with a breadth of experience in change of use applications. If your scheme would benefit from professional planning consultant assistance, then please contact our knowledgeable and approachable team to see how we can best assist via firstname.lastname@example.org.