With the help of ET Planning, the owner of a disused single-storey church building in Putney has been given the green light to transform the vacant property into two four-bedroom homes fit for growing families.
Wandsworth Council was concerned that the current D1 class building had not been properly marketed for sale or to let, and refused the planning application due to the loss of a community facility. As part of a subsequent appeal, ET Planning demonstrated that the loss of the community facility had taken place many years ago with the closure of the building as a place of worship in December 2014, and no community group use at all since June 2016. ET Planning also explained that the building had been marketed for a period of 15 months with no interest, and as the building had been vacant for over two years, it was likely to attract vandalism and fall further into disrepair.
Paragraph 22 of the National Planning Policy Framework states that planning policies should “avoid the long term protection of sites allocated for employment use where there is no reasonable prospect of a site being used for that purpose. Land allocations should be regularly reviewed. Where there is not reasonable prospect of a site being used for the allocated employment use, applications for alternative uses of land or buildings should be treated on their merits having regard to market signals and the relative need for different land uses to support sustainable local communities”.
An Appeal Planning Inspector agreed that sufficient marketing of the building had taken place, that the position was unlikely to change with further marketing, and that the site was suitable for development.
The new two and a half storey homes designed by Young In Architects will reflect the character and appearance of the surrounding area with a London stock brick facade, parapet roof design and sash windows to the front. Living accommodation is focused on the ground floor with bedrooms being located on the first and second floors.
As requested by the Council, all new residential dwellings are to be built so that they may serve as ‘lifetime homes’. As such these homes have also been designed to ensure that they are easily accessible and adaptable for the varied and changing lifecycle of a family.
These new homes will be visually appealing, are sustainably located, cause less traffic generation than an operational D1 class use and will ultimately bring life back to a vacant and disused site.