Obtaining planning consent for the redevelopment of an existing commercial site with a residential scheme is rarely straightforward. It takes time, a clear planning strategy and proactive negotiation, but the reward is a significant uplift in land value.
Our recent planning approval for the redevelopment of a site in Bexhill-on-Sea, provides a prime example of this process and how having an experienced planning consultant on board can really add value, not only to the planning process but also in optimising the development potential of a site. This particular project involved the redevelopment of a site in Rother District used for car sales, repairs and MOTs, into a 10x dwelling scheme.
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Redeveloping a commercial site to residential
In this case the Council had previously accepted the principle of the site’s redevelopment but had insisted on a minor mixed-use scheme, comprising of a small 2 storey residential unit with 2 offices. The site was sizeable, and previous attempts to expand the scope of the existing planning permission had been unsuccessful. The Council’s restrictive response failed to take advantage of the development options this brownfield site presented. We were brought in by the landowner with the aim of optimising and realising the development potential of the site.
Optimising the development potential of a site
From the outset we engaged proactively with the Council who were resistant to both increasing the built form and a change in the development mix. Through careful site and context analysis, and a thorough review of the planning history and policy, we embarked on a planning strategy which sought to work through the council’s concerns and provide clear evidence to support an enlarged and solely residential development on site.
Using the written representations route at planning appeal, pre-application engagement and a subsequent planning application, over the next 18 months we successfully evidenced and established that a 100% residential development was acceptable and that the site could successfully accommodate a three-storey building without detrimentally impacting the street scene.
The result of our strategic engagement with this scheme has been to secure approval for 10x 2-bed flats. This has not only enabled the development potential of a brownfield plot within the settlement boundary to be realised, it will also aid in the provision of housing in an area where there is an under supply. Furthermore, through our ongoing representations to the Council, we have managed to include the site on the Pre-Submission Development and Site Allocations (DaSA) Local Plan for Rother District Council as a residential allocation.
How our planning consultants can help
Planning is rarely straightforward, particularly when working against a local authority that is resistant to change. To ensure a site can reach its optimum potential, a carefully devised strategy needs to be established at the outset. Each site will inevitably have a different set of planning issues and will often require a bespoke approach.
If you would like an expert viewpoint on how to proceed with your site, contact the team at Plainview Planning via firstname.lastname@example.org or use our Landmark Page to submit your site and receive a no obligation quote for our services. 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: CKA Architectural Consultants Ltd 2018