Planning application success for a cookery school in London’s Docklands

The Plainview Planning team are delighted with our recent planning approval for a change of use application from A1 to a Class D1 cookery school, which will enable a thriving business to continue to expand.

The planning challenge:

The site was not without its complications as the proposed change of use was in conflict with Tower Hamlets local planning policy, which seeks to resist the loss of Class A1.

Furthermore, situated within the West India Dock Conservation Area the building has Grade 1 status, therefore listed building consent was also sought for the associated alterations to the unit to enable it to function as a cookery school.

Making the case for a change of use:

Our review of local policy highlighted that whilst the loss of A1 was generally resisted, other local policies sought to encourage new health, leisure and community uses which have the potential to serve a supporting role to existing uses.

Our market research identified that the surrounding area already benefited from a high concentration of Class A1 uses, and therefore in this instance the loss of a single unit could not be perceived as undermining the provision of retail spaces within this area.

Moreover the site had been vacant for over 2 years, and our review of marketing evidence during this time showed it had been marketed effectively without result.

As the unit benefited from being in close proximity to residential flats, shops, bars and restaurants, we justified how it presented an appropriate location for the proposed D1 use, serving to strengthen the mix and diversity of leisure and community uses within Canary Wharf.

In order to alleviate any concerns, we proposed a condition to control the ongoing use of the unit for the future.

After positive engagement with the case officer, planning permission and listed building consent were granted for the scheme.

About us:

Plainview Planning are experienced at handling change of use planning applications for the commercial, retail and leisure industries.  If you feel your application would benefit from professional planning consultant input, contact our team to see how we can best assist via