ET Planning are delighted to announce that planning permission for a large six-storey development, situated in the heart of Farnborough, has been approved.
This development will replace what was a dilapidated old building with vacant retail units. With its prime location in Farnborough Town Centre the land can now be used for a new purpose; to boost the local housing supply and give an economic injection to the Borough.
Working with Mera Real Estate and The Keen Partnership (Architects) plans were drawn up for a six-storey building with a basement. This building will be home to four ground floor retail units and 31 apartments; 12 one-bedroom and 19 two-bedroom apartments.
The site already had permission for a four-storey development with 19 apartments and three ground floor retail units, but the revised scheme now provides an appropriate increase in the Borough’s housing supply, without adverse effect on the character of the area, the amenity of neighbouring residents, or on highway safety.
Design and Appearance
The development will be of an innovative design replacing an older building which offered little architectural value to the area.
Each of the 31 apartments will be provided with either a balcony or an enclosed winter garden.
As part of the planning application, ET Planning were able to demonstrate that the design and appearance of the development was appropriate for the local area, sustainable and provided a fantastic internal environment for the unit occupiers.
It was important to note and reference that Paragraph 124 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) identifies that “Good design is a key aspect of sustainable development, creates better places in which to live and work and helps make development acceptable to communities”.
The National Design Guide also identifies that “well-designed homes and buildings are functional, accessible and sustainable. They provide internal environments and associated external spaces that support the health and well-being of their users and all who experience them”.
Affordable Housing Viability
The Rushmoor Local Plan Policy LN2 (RLP) sets out that in developments involving 11 or more new dwellings in Farnborough Town Centre that a minimum of 20% of those dwellings shall be provided as affordable homes.
In this instance, the site could not viably provide the amount of affordable housing required by the Council’s planning policies. The inclusion of on-site affordable housing would result in a significant deficit that would be well below industry accepted profit thresholds, and even the inclusion of a less than policy compliant level of affordable housing would also compromise viability.
ET Planning prepared and submitted an Affordable Housing Viability Statement in support of this application and concluded that the development would be unviable with the provision of affordable units. The council accepted this statement.
The RLP Policy states that the Council will work with applicants to secure development that improves social, economic and environmental conditions of the Borough.
Not only will this development bring much needed homes to the area but there will also be job opportunities from the retail units. This development therefore contributes to the long-term viability and economy of the town centre.
During this application process ET Planning were able to expand upon a previously accepted planning proposal and secure a more effective proposal for both the client and the Council.
ET Planning had constructive dialogue with the Council throughout the creation of this development proposal, but in particular at the pre-application stage so that Council feedback could inform the design and the subsequent planning submission.