The Practice has provided advice to a major chain of pubs for a number of years. We have been successful in obtaining planning permission for both refurbishment and redevelopment. This has included both residential and commercial pub & hotel redevelopment and involving listed building and buildings within conservation areas.
The King Charles Head is an attractive, former pub building, but in a relatively isolated rural position. As a result of poor trading the pub had closed and following marketing, an application for change of use (with alterations) was submitted to change its use to a single dwelling.
The principal issues related first to the loss of the community facility and secondly to demonstrating that the building could not be used for employment use, which would have been the preferred alternative use under both government and local planning policy.
The Council accepted the change of use to residential.
This former pub site is located in the settlement of Verwood. Following the Clients’ decision to close the pub following poor trading, an application was pursued for a redevelopment to comprise a convenience retail store on the ground floor and 12 flats above, over two floors.
Although outside of the town centre, the convenience store was promoted and accepted by the Local Planning Authority as helping to improve local retail provision, and given the range of other pubs in the local area, the Local Planning Authority accepted that there was no issue in this case over the loss of the pub.
However it was necessary to take the application to appeal (conducted through a hearing) on two grounds, first to address the Council’s concern that the scheme should have included an affordable housing element although at 12 units, the scheme fell under the 15 unit affordable housing threshold and because of its unashamedly modern design. A unilateral obligation was required with financial payments towards local infrastructure and to mitigate the effect of the residential impact on the Dorset heathlands.
Planning permission was granted on appeal and costs awarded to our Clients on the affordable housing issue.
The permission was subsequently varied to accommodate changes at the detailed design and construction stage through a series of non-material amendments and the scheme is now completed and the retail store trading.
Architects – Western Design (application stage); DLM Design (Construction stage)
Highway Consultants – Richard Parker Consultancy
Retail Impact – Mark Wood Associates