We are pleased with a recent approval for a multi-faceted scheme which sought to consolidate, expand, and modernise an existing dental surgery, whilst also providing two new residential units in a scheme which had to be justified against a contrary policy in the London Borough of Lambeth.
The existing dental surgery occupied all four floors of a terraced building but modern practice and improved administrative technologies resulted in much of the space being surplus to requirements and falling into disrepair.
The proposal sought to change the use of the upper redundant floors and turn them into two new flats. The ground floor and basement areas were to be modernised, thus improving the accessibility and services provided by this NHS dental practice for the benefit of the wider community.
The key area of contention was that the scheme ran contrary to UDP Policy 26 (c) which seeks to resist the loss of community uses, in this case the D1 designation on the building for use as a dental surgery. The scheme had also had a negative response from the Local Planning Authority (LPA).
We engaged early on with pre-application advice which fed into the final design and presented a scheme which made excellent and efficient use of an underused existing building and greatly improved access.
We also justified the proposal against the London Plan and NPPF and identified how it would provide material planning gains across the spectrum of sustainable development.
Good quality early engagement and solution-led justifications against local policy has resulted in the LPA revising their initial response to the scheme, resulting in an approval for this innovative and demonstrably sustainable scheme.