Pragmatic approach key to securing planning approval for a personal training studio in Maldon

Our recent approval for a change of use from Class B2 to Class D2 highlighted the importance of pragmatism in decision making.

Our client runs a successful personal training business with an established client base in Maldon.  They were urgently seeking new premises as their existing site had recently been sold. They had a short window in which to relocate and after an extensive search, had found only one site in Maldon that met their particular business requirements.

However, the site was located in an area designated for Class B uses only and local policy restricted the change of use in this location.

How we helped:

Whilst the council were resistant to a change of use in this location in principle, we actively encouraged discussion and presented material considerations as to why on this occasion a step away from local policy was a sensible response. Our approach included:

  • Provision of extensive evidence which showed that despite plenty of marketing, the unit had been empty for over a year.  Our analysis suggested a lack of demand for the unit in its B2 use;
  • A review of the alternative vacant sites within Maldon, which successfully evidenced how the application site represented the only suitable space available for the particular needs of the business;
  • We identified how our client’s business provided a distinct offer within the local area, was demonstrably successful and would itself generate employment and bring back into use a vacant space, representing the efficient use of land in a sustainable location;
  • We successfully argued that the proposed D2 use would offer an important community facility and could have a complementary ancillary function to the wider employment area, in line with national policy and the emerging local plan.

To further support our case we presented relevant appeal decisions that supported a step away from policy and we were delighted that Maldon Council eventually took a pragmatic position and granted planning approval for a change of use to Class D2, despite the local policy position.

This change of use will enable an existing personal training business with an established Maldon-based clientele to relocate and remain in town.

About us:

Our team of knowledgeable planners have helped many clients achieve a relevant change of use to help their businesses expand or their homes to grow. If you require assistance with a change of use planning application, contact our expert team via