Guildford Borough Council: Pure Town Planning has just secured consent for another office (Use Class B1a) to residential permitted development scheme, this time for 28 one and two bedroom flats in central Guildford, Surrey.
Despite 29 objections from local residents the appointed planning officer rightly noted that the proposal was not for planning permission. The prior approval route limits the issues which the Council can consider to any impact on highways and the risk of contamination or flooding. In terms of the latter two issues – it was considered that the site was not at risk from either. In terms of the first issue – highways; 27 car parking spaces were provided for the 28 units and we were able to persuade the Council’s transport officer that this was an acceptable amount given the highly accessible location. The development was considered to comply with the requirements of Class J of the General Permitted Development Order and the scheme was approved within the 56 day determination period.
The permitted development right only applies to a change of use so does not grant consent for any operational development which may be necessary including any changes to the external appearance of the building such as alterations to windows or doors. However if any external alterations are required to make the development more appealing or usable then these can simply be applied for in the usual way once the residential use has been confirmed.
Remember this permitted development right has to be exercised before 30 May 2016 – that is the change of use has to be made so internal alterations must all be complete. Whilst the Government has consulted on an extension until 2019 there is no certainty when and if this will come about. If you want to take advantage of changing use of an office building before 30 May 2016 then you really need to act now – why not give Pure Town Planning a call today to see if your premises qualifies?