BCP Council (Bournemouth): Matt Annen, a director of the firm is pleased to share the news that he has recently secured planning permission for a change of use of a retail unit from Use Class A1/A2 to a mixed A1/D1 use (cosmetic medicine, skin retailer and clinic) in the Old Sorting Office development in Bournemouth town centre.

Pure Town Planning were originally approached for assistance by interior designers KTM Design who were tasked with handling the design and fit out of the new premises. The clients, River Aesthetics are a cosmetic clinic offering bespoke medical aesthetics, anti-ageing treatments, Botox, dermal fillers and cosmetic procedures and more. They are already based locally in the conurbation and were looking to move to a larger, more central location.

The premises they found forms part of the ground floor of a recently constructed development on Albert Road comprising two commercial units and 83 flats and which was originally designed by ARC Architects. The original planning permission restricted the use of the commercial units to either Use Class A1 or A2. The property is designated as a secondary frontage and A1/A2 uses in such areas are protected by Policy U6 of the Area Action Plan. The proposals to convert the premises into a predominantly D1 use did not fulfil these policy requirements.

However, we were able to demonstrate that the unit had been vacant in excess of 18 months and that the authorised use has been effectively marketed at a competitive rate for this period and that no potential A1/A2 occupier had been forthcoming. Therefore given the current economic climate and state of the high street with numerous empty shops, the appointed planning officer agreed that it would be preferable for the unit to be occupied rather than continue to remain empty. The proposed use would encourage footfall into the heart of the town centre which would compliment surrounding shops and services. As such it was concluded by the officer in his report that the proposed use would be well suited to this location and would not have an adverse impact on the vitality of viability of the shopping area.

Are you looking to relocate your business? Perhaps off the back of the Coronavirus you are looking to take advantage of a new opportunity and have found the perfect property but require a change of use to match the nature of your business? Maybe you are a commercial property agent marketing numerous empty commercial premises in the wake of Coronavirus? Have you thought about a change of use of that premises to broaden the number of potential tenants? Call Pure Town Planning to find out what your options are.