Office to residential conversions

Office to residential conversions


In 2013 the Government introduced new permitted development rights to allow office buildings to be converted to residential use. This was for an initial temporary period of 3 years but they subsequently made the new rights permanent in 2016. The new permitted development rights in effect meant the council had to accept the principle of the change of use and could only consider the proposal against a number of stated criteria. These were considered via a prior approval process, which is a form of ‘streamlined’ planning application.

One of the offices prior to conversion

It was however immediately clear that planning authorities were very carefully scrutinising the prior approval applications as they were reluctant to see the loss of employment floor space. Therefore, whilst the process was meant to be more streamlined, it was essential that the prior approval applications are carefully presented to the planners addressing all the issues raised by the stated criteria. We have also found it best to provide indicative floor plan drawings to show how proposed residential use could be achieved. Extracts of some illustrative drawings used (prepared by PKA Architects) are shown.

RCC have prepared and submitted a number of prior approval applications in a variety of locations including Swindon, Bath, Weston Super Mare and Maidstone. With most submissions RCC have successfully addressed the criteria of the prior approval process within our planning submission, however, in some instances we have also included additional reports prepared by specialist consultants. All the prior approval applications submitted by RCC have been permitted. Photographs of the completed flats together with a photo of one of the office buildings prior to the conversion works are provided to view.

Latest residential testimonials:

Mr and Mrs Stewart, Pewsey

It’s been a long journey but we finally got there! 

Richard has been right at so many turns during the process of our project to get the planning permission we wanted, we couldn't have done it without him and his team.  

He recommended a great Heritage specialist who was an instrumental part of the team and then wrote a perfect report to accompany the appeal.   

Accompanied by the low energy information this enabled the inspectorate officer to see the same sense as we all saw from the very beginning.  

We have been and will continue to use Richard and RCC Town Planning in the future. 

E & V Kidner, Dauntsey

Richard and his team navigated us through a complex Class Q application, converting a number of steel frame agricultural buildings into dwellings. Once this was approved, we then successfully obtained full planning permission using the Class Q as the fallback position.  

Throughout the process RCC have offered thorough and practical advice. They have been meticulous with every detail and we always had full confidence in them to help us reach our ambitions for the site.  

We received regular updates whilst the applications were under consultation and Richard managed the communication with the council professionally and in a timely manner.  

We are incredibly grateful for all your hard work, thank you. 

Mr and Mrs Humphries, Dilton Marsh

After doing a lot of research on planning consultants, we felt Richard Cosker and his team were best placed to help us achieve planning permission for our new build house.

It was a complicated application as the land was classed as agricultural with a Boarding Cattery business running on the site too.

Richard and Jenny are so knowledgeable and professional, and the planning statement they submitted left little room for the council to argue a negative outcome! We were granted outline planning permission for a 3 bedroom house, followed a few months later by full planning permission for our dream house.

We cannot recommend this company enough, very happy clients, thank you!

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