Bournemouth Borough Council: Pure Town Planning Director, Matt Annen is pleased to announce that he has recently secured another permitted development prior approval allowing the partial change of use from Use Class A2 (professional and financial services) to a one bedroom studio flat (Use Class C3) in Winton, Bournemouth.

The client was interested in finding ways to add value to his existing office premises, particularly if an under-utilised part of the shop to the rear could be converted into a flat. We suggested that a Prior Approval application under Part 3, Class M of the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) would represent an easier option to gain a residential unit instead of submitting a formal application as there are only limited considerations for the Council to consider. These are:

  • Transport and highways impacts of the development;
  • Contamination risks;
  • Flooding risks; and
  • whether the sustainability of that shopping area would be affected by the loss of the Use Class A1 or A2 floorspace or unit.

Along with these considerations, only up to a total of 150 sqm can be converted and there can be no extensions to the building, meaning that you have to work with the existing building.

Along with the limited considerations the Council can assess the application on, a Prior Approval application only costs £96.00 for the change of use (with another £206.00 if you need to undertake external building works) when compared to £462.00 per residential unit for a full planning application.

We put together a comprehensive planning statement showing how the proposal fully complied with the relevant part of the GPDO and the application was approved by Bournemouth Borough Council within the statutory time frames.

So if you have an existing shop or office and would like to see whether you have a chance of converting it into a why not give us a call for a free, confidential 30 minute consultation or email with your site for feedback on the chances of success on your proposal.