Plainview Planning were instructed to provide planning advice on the development of three Grade II listed properties (Doughty House, Doughty Cottage and Doughty Gallery). The proposed scheme was to combine all three into a single exceptional residence at the top of Richmond Hill.
Doughty Gallery is an historic gallery, built in 1880 it once housed the art collection of Sir Francis Cook, but now faced an uncertain future and had been identified by English Heritage as being on the ‘At Risk’ register.
Furthermore, the proposed merging of Doughty House and Cottage into a single residential dwelling would result in the loss of a housing unit and was contrary to local planning policies.
Following in-depth research into the history of the site by the professional team (incorporating HTP Architecture and Heritage Collective) a case was compiled that supported the reinstatement of the three properties into one grand residence.
In addition, we presented relevant planning law arguments which put forward that the reinstatement of the properties did not constitute a material change of use. Following many ministerial decisions and court judgements, two main tests have emerged for assessing the materiality of a change of use:
- has there been a change in character;
- the effect of the change upon the neighbourhood.
Given the historic use of the property, it was our case that that there would be no material change in character nor any material effect on the neighbourhood.
Extensive pre-application meetings with the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and English Heritage culminated in a recommendation for approval.