Plainview Planning have secured approval for a Section 73 planning application, to remove a planning condition to enable a busy specialist medical practice to continue operating from its site in Chelsea, London.
We had previously obtained planning permission for our client, enabling the conversion and change of use of their residential basement (C3) into a medical clinic (D1). The previous approval had come with a condition restricting the change of use for a duration of three years. Once it was evident that the business had built up an excellent reputation, our client approached us to assist in removing this restrictive condition via a Section 73 application.
Our challenge was to justify the long term loss of residential floorspace by ensuring the basement maintained its D1 use class and thus could continue to function as a medical clinic. Further to this, policy had changed since the previous approval had been sought. We were also working on a tight schedule due to the time constraints of the condition
We analysed the proposed retention of D1 use against the relevant statutes and planning guidance. We also assessed the validity of the planning condition against the guidance in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG). In general terms a planning condition should not be imposed unless it is necessary; relevant to planning and; to the development to be permitted; enforceable; precise and reasonable. This is known as the ‘six tests’ and the validity of a condition can be ascertained by applying these tests to it.
We were able to identify how the planning condition failed to meet two of the six requirements, and also highlighted that a second condition ensured the D1 use applied only whilst the applicant continued to live and work on site, thereby safeguarding the future use of the site as a residential unit.
The application was approved on time and we are delighted for our client that we have been able to help secure their business premises and the continuing success of their enterprise.
If you are considering a change of use application, or find you have a restrictive condition on your planning approval then contact our knowledgeable and helpful planning consultants to see how we can best assist via firstname.lastname@example.org.