Approval at planning committee for a commercial change of use, Mid Sussex

Our latest planning approval sought a change of use from a B8 storage and distribution centre to a B2 car mechanics and service repair garage in Burgess Hill, Sussex.

Local opposition and flood risk:

Whilst the proposed change of business use required no external alterations, there was a high level of opposition to the scheme.  Local residents flagged concerns over potential levels of noise disturbance and congestion.

Furthermore according to the Mid Sussex District Council Strategic Flood Risk Assessment, the site was located within a Flood Zone.

Making the case for a change of use:

In light of the challenging nature of the location and perceived opposition to the scheme, we compiled a robust planning statement which made clear the inherent sustainability of the proposed development and the community benefit a local garage would bring.

In line with the Mid Sussex Local Plan (2004), the Burgess Hill Neighbourhood Plan (2015) and national policy, we constructed a strong argument for the scheme highlighting its economic, environmental and social benefits.

Flood risk assessment:

Our planning consultants also prepared a bespoke flood risk assessment, a prime example of our cross-disciplinary knowledge and skill sets.

Our report presented a strong evidence base which identified how the proposed use was suitable for the site, and highlighted the limited risk of flooding in the site’s location historically, now and in the future.

Local engagement and negotiation:

In order to engage proactively with local concerns, we proposed a working hours condition to safeguard adjacent residential amenity in accordance with local policy, and encouraged negotiation and engagement with the local authority in line with national policy.

Due to the objections to the scheme, the Council requested a time extension so the application could be decided at committee.  The case we had presented was robust and the case officer recommended the application for approval.  The committee’s decision agreed the same and the change of use was granted.

About us:

Plainview Planning is an independent town and country planning consultancy with extensive experience in commercial change of use applications.  If your scheme would benefit from expert planning consultant input, contact our team via

IMAGE SOURCE: SFRA Mapping for MSDC from Ordinance Survey 2016