Offices become Homes

Disused in a Conservation Area
An empty office block in Bedfordshire town which was identified as a potential location for new apartments by one of JWPC’s clients. Although the office block had been disused for a number of years and was in urgent need of renewal, it stood on a prominent corner in a conservation area, meaning that any changes to the design of the building would have to be carefully considered if consent was to be obtained.

JWPC worked with the project team to develop plans and a strategy for securing consent. The project involved applying for prior approval notification (a simpler form of planning permission) for the initial conversion of the four-storey building to new apartments, and a separate planning consent to provide an extra storey on top of part of the building, giving the scheme a total of 30 apartments.

Objections Resolved at Planning Committee
The building provided an attractive town-centre location for new residents, and an existing underground parking area was brought into use as part of the scheme. JWPC commissioned high-quality visuals to show the sustainability of the proposals and the enormous improvements they would bring to an unappealing empty building, so that the council’s planning officers and committee members who were making the decision could fully understand the benefits of the proposal.

Local objections to the proposal were resolved through careful explanation of the benefits of the proposal in terms of the local community, the conservation area and the building itself, providing a positive outcome for all concerned.

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