Planning approved for a mixed-use retail and residential scheme in central Romford

Redevelopment of town centre site for housing and retail and upward extension

Our recent approval for the demolition of an existing commercial block to enable the development of a mixed-use commercial and residential scheme gives a prime example of how sometimes, achieving that original planning permission can prove to be just the start of the development journey.

Phase 1 – securing planning permission for a vertical extension

We previously helped our client back in 2017 to secure planning approval for alterations to an existing retail unit, along with the addition of an upward extension to create 6x flats. The scheme saw the redevelopment and improvement of an underused building of limited architectural merit in a prime town centre location.

To add to the complexity of the original project, the site adjoined a Grade II listed building and sits within the environs of a Grade II* listed church. You can read more about how we made a positive case for the project and secured its approval at Planning Committee here.

Phase 2 – securing planning permission for the demolition and redevelopment of a site

The first application was for an upward extension to facilitate a residential development. However following planning approval, questions were raised over whether the existing structure was sound enough to support the proposed alterations. Our client wouldn’t know for certain until the construction phase commenced.

As a result, we submitted a further planning application.  Whilst the design was to remain the same, although a few minor amends were proposed, the revised scheme now sought consent for the demolition of the existing building and its replacement with a mixed-use development comprising retail at the ground level and 6 residential dwellings on the upper floors. The aim of this resubmission was to provide our client with greater security and flexibility with construction methods. If they discovered once development had started, that the existing structure would not be able to support the vertical extension, then they would have the option to demolish and re-build – thus securing the future of the project.

Presenting the planning justifications for a redevelopment in a listed setting

Our planning application sought to evidence the aesthetic and architectural merits of the scheme and the positive contributions to the wider streetscape and conservation area. We also analysed local and national policies and justified how and why the scheme was fully compliant with adopted design policies.

We were able to further support the application by referring to the positive feedback and engagement received during the planning committee process from the previous approval.

In this instance we were also entitled to a ‘free-go’ as the application was being made within a year of the original decision and was in the same character as the development already permitted.

We engaged proactively with the Council and case officer and were absolutely delighted for our client when we secured planning permission for a second time on the site, ensuring the future of a high-quality mixed-use development which will elevate and enhance its town centre setting.

About Us

Our team at Plainview Planning are a passionate, knowledgeable and innovative group of planning consultants who have been adding value to developer, commercial and householder projects for over a decade. If you are looking for a planning agent to help guide, and support you through the planning process then contact the team via or alternatively you can submit your query and site details 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.

IMAGE SOURCE: mgl-architects (2018)