There are several planning considerations which need to be appraised when making a change of use application, but key to it all is in justifying the loss of one use in favour of another. This can be challenging and, depending on the complexity of the site and project, may well require additional reports to support the proposed change of use. This is how, as planners, we often find ourselves acting as the lead consultant on this type of project, not only preparing the application, but in collating and reviewing the necessary supporting information to ensure consistency and a robust submission.
Change of use – justifying the loss of one use in favour of another
For this project, our client sought a change of use for a semi-detached residential dwelling, to an independent childcare facility. Key planning issues we navigated included: the loss of housing; the residential context and impact on neighbouring amenity; transport implications.
We worked effectively with the project team, advising our client on the reports required to support the application, reviewing the necessary information for consistency and presenting a robust application which justified the proposed use. Our application included:
- evidence of the need for such a facility;
- evidence to support the loss of a unit of housing;
- mitigation measures to assuage Local Planning Authority (LPA) concerns regarding noise, traffic and impact on neighbouring amenity;
- research into pertinent application decisions and case law to ensure constancy in decision making.
The importance of proactive engagement in planning decision making
Due to the nature of the change of use, several reports were submitted to support the application. In this instance the consultee responses and queries raised by the LPA, were such that it looked as though they might be minded to refuse the application. Through our pragmatic approach, we successfully liaised between our client and the case officer and were able to secure a positive outcome, with a scheme which successfully responds to LPA feedback and our clients’ ambitions.
We were delighted to assist our client in their dream of creating an independent childcare facility, by securing planning permission for a change of use from C3 to D1 nursery for 31 children, and associated alterations to the building to facilitate the works.
Points to consider for a change of use to a D1 nursery
If you have a property that you are considering converting into a nursery or childcare facility, key questions you should initially consider include:
- Is there demand for the nursery in the area?
- Are the premises and its context suitable?
- Are there any policy restrictions?
If you would like us to do an initial assessment of a site or to prepare and submit a full application on your behalf, contact our team via email@example.com or call us on 01242 501003 to see how we can best assist you, providing the site address and a brief overview of your project. You can also submit your site via our Landmark Page. We value your privacy and any information which you provide will not be shared outside of our company and will only be used in relation to your enquiry.