We are delighted with our recent planning application success for the change of use of a private residential care home (use class C2) to 3 residential dwellings (use class C3).
The care home is located in a Conservation Area and the property was listed as a ‘positive building’ in a Conservation Area appraisal. Further to this, the use of the building as a care home was also protected by local policies which classified it as a ‘community facility’.
Making the case for a change of use:
In light of the sensitive nature of the building and its location, our planning consultants collated robust evidence to support the proposed change of use.
Historically the site had consisted of three Georgian residential dwellings, before a series of minor conversions had turned the buildings into a single unit for the provision of a care home.
The proposed change of use therefore sought to restore the buildings to their historic and intended purpose. The restoration would require no external modifications, thus negating any impact on the street scene and preserving the conservation area.
In terms of its use, the age and architectural style of the buildings meant that they could not be modernised to provide a full range of care home services. Economic viability arguments were presented to provide reasons to allow the Council to depart from conflicting planning policies. Our team worked with the land owner to provide the best, and most relevant case possible.
We justified how reverting the vacant building back into three residential dwellings represented the most effective, efficient and sustainable use of the land given the history of the building, its surrounding context, economic viability, and its close proximity to the town centre.
Five year housing supply:
Our team also identified complexities in the local policy situation and the potential impact on Cheltenham’s ability to deliver a 5 year housing supply.
The proposed change of use presented an opportunity to make best use of previously developed land and sought to boost housing supply in a sustainable location.
The sustainable credentials of the proposed conversion were noted by the planning officer at Cheltenham Borough Council and after effective and positive engagement the scheme was granted permission.
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