Dorset Council (former East Dorset District): Jess Glover is delighted to announce she has recently won an appeal for the change of use of an existing public house (A4 use) to 3no. self-contained flats (C3 use) in Sixpenny Handley, Dorset.

The proposed development, which was designed by Western Design Architects, converts the existing two storey building into three 2-bedroom flats with associated gardens, storage and parking.

The scheme was recommended for approval but the decision overturned at planning committee as it was considered that the loss of pub would result in a substantial decline in the services in the village. As such, the appellants approached Pure Town Planning following refusal of this planning application.

The pub ceased functioning in 2017 as the business was economically unviable to run. The owner of the site has been residing in the property since this date.

The conversion of the building was designed to retain the structural integrity of the building while providing ample living space for future occupants and outdoor communal amenity space. The architectural vernacular of the building is largely retained, with the only external changes proposed being an additional side window on the ground floor, and a new window and French doors on the ground floor rear elevation. The proposed development provides 6 off-street parking spaces and a secure communal cycle store for occupants.  

In support of the appeal, we prepared a comprehensive appeal statement which demonstrated that the loss of the existing public house was acceptable and compliant with local planning policy as the pub use was commercially unviable and alternative premises to meet local needs were situated within close proximity of the site. Savills prepared detailed marketing and viability reports to support the application.

Upon considering the application and supporting documents, the Inspector agreed with our conclusions and duly allowed the appeal stating that ‘the proposal would accord with the first part of Policy PC5 of the LP, as it has been clearly demonstrated that there is insufficient demand and it is not feasible or viable for the business to continue’ and ‘I am satisfied that the remaining provision of services in the village would be adequate, and the loss of the Roebuck Inn would not result in the substantial decline of such facilities’.

If you have a commercial premises or vacant brownfield site and would like to pursue a change of use application, then why not call Pure Town Planning on 01202 585524 or email for a FREE 30 minute consultation on how we can help you.