- Planning permission was initially secured in 2008 for a self storage facility of circa 9764m2 and 14 residential flats and maisonettes. Although implemented this was not completed due to the financial crisis. In the intervening period, the company’s business model changed and problems were identified with ground conditions and the structural stability of an Art Deco facade and tower that was due to be retained.
- Planning permission was secured for a new self storage facility that removed the extensive basement area, replaced the historic Art Deco tower but retained as much historic fabric as possible and omitted the residential element.
- A flexible planning strategy was undertaken that dealt with a variety of planning and demolition issues. Two separate pre app submissions provided for alternative approaches alongside a Section 96 non-material amendment application; a Request for an EIA Screening Opinion for demolition of the existing buildings; prior approval for the method of demolition and site restoration applications; and a suite of minor and major planning applications.
The Planning Process
The pre apps established the acceptability of an alternative design. These confirmed the Council’s agreement to the removal of the residential units and basement, inclusion of a small element of B1 floorspace within the B8 storage unit (PD rights didn’t apply as the scheme wasn’t complete or ready for occupation) and the construction of a second separate access into the site. A Section 96a non material amendment was then secured to add the list of approved plans to the original decision notice by condition. This enabled the use of a Section 73 application to vary the plans to incorporate the B1 floorspace. At the same time, planning permission was secured for a second separate vehicular access. A Request for an EIA Screening Opinion, followed by two prior approval applications setting out methods for the demolition and replacement of the structurally unsound Art Deco building facade and tower were secured. Following this a full planning application that dealt with the agreed alternative approach to the uses, the quantum of floorspace, design and enhanced landscaping and improved pedestrian access was submitted. Due to significant local opposition this was determined and secured at Planning Committee.