Planning Permission for change of use

Planning Approval for Change of Use Croft Architecture Ltd

In Brief

Client: Private, Residential

Location: Loggerheads, Staffordshire

Completion Date: Planning consent approved October 2015. Proposed completion 2016.

We were initially appointed by our client to assist with unresolved Building Control issues for an ongoing project that was stationary. The scheme for a detached granny annex within the grounds of the client’s farmland required comprehensive architectural attention for the project to regain momentum in the right direction.

The client eagerly needed help from Croft Architecture to step in and successfully resolve the matters impeding their projects progression and to propel their scheme forwards.

Upon meeting with client and surveying the site, it was clear that there was an alternative advantageous planning direction to take. If the planning consent for the detached annex could be changed into a permission for a detached house as a ‘separate dwelling’ it would save the client a significant amount of money. This direction meant that they would be able to save 20% VAT on a new build project.

This now meant a complete change in tack from resolving Building Control matters to amending the existing planning application for a change of use in endeavour to save our client money.   

In Context

The client had the correct planning consent that they required to complete the detached annex on their land, but the cost of the build would be subject to 20% VAT.

The benefits of re-submitting the planning application to gain permission for the annex as a ‘separate dwelling’ would mean that the project would be classed as a new build scheme and the client would be able claim back the 20% VAT. This route would not only save the client thousands of pounds, but they would also be able to sell the dwelling as a separate entity from the existing farmhouse on their land. 

Our Approach

The necessary amendments were made to resubmit the planning application to change the current approval for the detached annex into a separate dwelling on behalf of our client.

The initial re-submission was refused on the grounds of the property being situated in a sustainable location, however, we prepared a strong case to support the planning appeal reinforcing our clients’ application.

To support the application for approval we identified that the annex is an existing building and is part of the network of the original working farm. It already has planning permission for the use as an annex and has undergone rebuilding and conversion, accommodating the same amount of floor space.

The building is already in use and provides a living area, kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms. The annex is not reliant upon the main house for utilities and services and is occupied as a residential unit without a link to the main house.

As a result there would be no changes to the appearance of the property in terms of domestic equipment and will not create a visual impact on the immediate or local area. The only difference would be that the building could be occupied as a separate dwelling.

We presented the supporting evidence on behalf of our client to the planning committee meeting and we successfully received a positive result. The client was granted planning permission for a change of use from an annex to a detached dwelling.

Whilst the project was granted the desired planning permission, saving the client a significant amount of money (2867 % ROI) and creating flexibility for future property management. The final outcome could have been more valuable in terms of time, money and anxiety saved had we been able to provide guidance from project inception.