A new high quality health facility will allow for a change of use of an existing well-designed, large, three-storey office building has been granted planning permission in the green belt area of Maidenhead. The development will use the existing shell of the building and convert the basement, ground and first floor, allowing for the introduction of a new health offering to the local community.
The building is located within a designated business park in Maidenhead which is defined for mixed uses and has a wide variety of businesses using the site which contributes towards a sustainable development.
As this is an interesting development concept located within a Green Belt area, ET Planning were tasked to demonstrate to the local council, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, that this change of use proposal was acceptable in principle.
ET Planning covered a number of areas in their planning statement including the impact on local development plans and whether the proposals were in line with sustainable development, green belt development, and parking and transport guidelines.
Local Development Plans (LDP)
When liaising with council officers regarding this development it was important to reference the local development plans including the Borough Local Plan and the Hurley and the Walthams Neighbourhood Plan. Both of these documents cover what sustainable development looks like within the local community.
These documents refer to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which under Paragraph 8 identifies the three objectives of sustainable development, as economic, environmental, and social.
Economic Factors – Sustainable Development
The business park which this development lies within raised concerns that the development would cause a loss of employment. However, as this is a new business, ET Planning were able to demonstrate that the cosmetic hospital would provide job opportunities for local people during the preliminary stages and when the hospital is operational, therefore contributing to the creation of a strong economy.
This of course supports the wider policy’s aims and objectives when it comes to sustainable development relating to the economy.
Environmental Factors – Sustainable Development
Green Belt Development
The development is situated within a designated Green Belt area and so it is important to reflect on Paragraph 137 of the NPPF which states that the fundamental aim of the Green Belt is “to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open; the essential characteristics of Green Belts are their openness and their permanence”.
As part of the planning statement ET Planning highlighted that this proposal would see the conversion of an existing building and the creation of an appropriate business within a vibrant economic setting created by the business park.
ET Planning worked with Motion Transport Consultancy on this project in order to fully understand the impacts of the development – relating to both the parking provision for the site and also the transport measures that would need to be in place.
It was found that the existing business park, where the development is located, already has sustainable transport measures in place; allowing those who work or travel to the park to access it.
Social Factors – Sustainable Development
The NPPF states the planning system should seek to support strong, vibrant and healthy communities. As this hospital development seeks to support self-confidence and mental health it is in line with the policy’s objectives.
Outcome and achievements
ET Planning were able to project manage this case from beginning to end, liaising with council officers, transport consultants and architects in order to put together a planning statement which fully outlined the developments aims, and positive impact on the local community.
As such, the council approved the change of use of the building so that it can now be converted from officers to a cosmetic hospital.
If you have a development concept in mind and would like to see your planning vision come to life, contact ET Planning today to see how they can support you.