The proposed makeover of a building in central Basingstoke has been approved after being deemed respectful of historic interest and in keeping with the local Conservation Area character.
The site, which falls within the Basingstoke Conservation Area, has previously been home to a highstreet bank. The newly approved plans, prepared by Carrington Stevens Design Consultancy, detailed a change of use of the three-storey building to a restaurant in the ground floor and basement and seven flats to the upper two floors. The accommodation will comprise of one studio flat, four one-bedroom flats and two two-bedroom flats.
As the site falls within a settlement boundary, any development is therefore directed by Local Plan Policy and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The Local Plan Policy for Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council sets out the need for more than 15,000 new dwellings in the area, whilst the NPPF supports the Government’s aim to boost housing supply. As part of the planning application, ET Planning was able to draw attention to the fact that the proposed change of use and subsequent development would fall in line with, and support, both local and national policy.
ET Planning also demonstrated in the application that the new accommodation would make efficient use of an existing building whilst also protecting and enhancing the quality of the Borough’s Conservation Area as a heritage asset.
Paragraphs 189 – 197 of the NPPF explain that historic environments should be protected. It suggests that developments which demonstrate a thorough understanding of the significance, character and setting of Conservation Areas should be permitted. ET Planning use the application process as an opportunity to show how the development proposals not only achieve high quality design but are also respectful of the historic interest and local character of the neighbourhood.
As further support to the client, ET Planning was able to negotiate specific conditions with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. This means that information for the restaurant can now be submitted before the change of use starts rather than before any works on the building begin. As such, the flats can now be proceed to be provided and occupied straight away while the clients advertise the restaurant for lease.