Shillingstone retail store planning consultants DorsetNorth Dorset District Council: Pure Town Planning has recently secured planning permission for a change of use from a car sales showroom to retail convenience store use in the village of Shillingstone in north Dorset. The building was actually a late 19th century converted dairy. The key issues for the Pure team to address were; impact on neighbouring amenity, arrangements for delivery lorries and customer parking provision.

We prepared a comprehensive supporting Design, Access and Planning Statement which accompanied the application making it very clear that the adopted planning policies support economic growth in rural areas and that this scheme would create jobs and prosperity by taking a positive approach to sustainable new development. We also put forward robust arguments demonstrating that the development will not be detrimental to neighbouring amenity, convincing the planning officer that the use of the building for retail purposes will have a limited impact upon neighbouring occupiers given the location of the site next to a busy road and the existing commercial use of the premise (and other potential nosier uses of the commercial premises). In terms of highways, the proposed retail unit provided parking for 18 vehicles and 6 bicycles which the planning officer considered to be sufficient for customers and staff thereby preventing the need for users to park outside the site.

During the process of the application an objection came in from Shillingstone Parish Council, who were concerned about the impact of vehicles parking dangerously at the site. We agreed that the plans would be amended to show bollards to be installed at the front and side of the building to prevent drivers from parking in hazardous locations. This was subsequently accepted by the highways officer who raised no objection to the development.  This meant that the planning officer was able to make a positive recommendation, however because of the Parish Council’s objection, the application was called into planning committee at the request of a Councillor. The planning officer concluded in his report to committee:

“The proposal would retain a site in employment use generating 21 new jobs in a sustainable location, adding vitality and additional facilities for the village and wider community, performing economic, social and environmental roles. It would lead to enhancement of the area by the reinstatement of the building, removal of unsightly parked cars on the road frontage and retention of a non-designated heritage asset. It would not lead to danger to users of the highway. The amenity of neighbouring occupants would be safeguarded”.

The was a short debate, then there was a move to approve the application which was subsequently seconded and planning permission was shortly granted by the Planning Committee (7 votes to 2) all in the space of about 20 minutes!

If you have a commercial premises and would like to pursue a change of use application, or any other commercially-related planning application for that matter such as; increasing opening hours, new shopfronts, new signage, canopies etc. then please do not hesitate to give Pure Town Planning a call and we would be happy to chat through it with you.