The team at Plainview Planning have secured permission for the change of use of a B1 office space to C3 residential, enabling the provision of residential accommodation in a listed setting and in a desired central location in Cheltenham.
The Grade II listed status of the site meant permitted development rights did not apply. The site was also within the Cheltenham Central Conservation Area, the Old Town Character Area and the Core Commercial Area. These various site designations needed to be negotiated carefully.
Pre application discussions:
Due to the sensitive nature of the site, we engaged in pre application discussions with Cheltenham Borough Council’s planning conservation officers. After some negotiation our planning consultants were met with a positive response and the subsequent application was prepared to reflect the discussions held.
The heritage asset and office space:
A key part of our planning statement sought to justify how the proposed scheme would maintain the integrity of the heritage asset.
The reversion of the building back to residential use was an evident conservation benefit as the building had been subject to unsympathetic additions during its tenure as an office.
Further to this, the offices themselves were vacant and market reports indicated that it had been proving a challenge to fully let the premises.
Restoring the building to residential use and removing the modern additions required to make it function as a B1 office could only serve to secure the long term future of the building.
The proposed works and alterations had been carefully prepared by the architects Archio (formally Buchanan Partnership) who had experience of similar schemes in listed contexts. The designs were specifically prepared to minimise the impact to the significance of the listed building whilst enabling the creation of pleasant and functional living space.
A combination of proactive engagement with the planning officer and heritage team at Cheltenham Council, the collation of an experienced team to support on the scheme and a balanced planning approach resulted in the application being approved.
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